Grandma's Pearls

I would like to invite you to join me on a journey. On November 1st, 2003, my mother died of pancreatic cancer. Her passing meant not just that I had lost a cherished family member, or that our community had lost a compassionate human being, but as a grandma she had a plethora of "pearls" on nearly any topic of child rearing, and these were gone with her as well. When I became a pediatrician in 1988, I would tap into her common-sense knowledge on a regular basis. Through the years, I found that many of my pediatric patients' grandparents enjoyed sharing their words of wisdom with me in my office, and I found these pearls especially valuable when I started my own family over ten years ago.

The journey I'm proposing is a shared attempt to capture this vast collection of accumulated wisdom on my blog. "Grandma's Pearl's" will celebrate a very special group of individuals who deserve to have a forum for sharing their hard-earned life lessons with others. It will be a compilation of advice from grandparents from all walks of life...capturing the insights of the grandparent-next-door, to the still-out-in-the workforce grandparent, to more.

My hope is that "Grandma's Pearls" will be a ray of inspiration for both new parents and experienced parents alike. Not a "how-to" manual on baby care, but rather a collection of practical, no-nonsense tips on how to raise good kids. You can share a couple of sentences, a paragraph, or a full-blown story if you'd like. I welcome you to share your pearls of wisdom and wit with the world!

Questions (these are suggestions only)....substitute in "dad, grandfather," etc. where appropriate:

  1. What tips do you (or passed down from your mother, mother-in-law, or grandmother) have on raising caring, happy, responsible, and well-adjusted kids?

  2. What did you (or your mom) do right, and/or what could have been done better?

  3. Was there a transforming moment in your (or your mom's) life that served as a guide in raising children? As a result of this moment, is there a "pearl" to pass on?

  4. Do you have a favorite "grandmotherly" quote that has helped you in parenting your children?

To submit a "pearl" click on:



Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Heart Hotel

Here's a wonderful pearl from Janet Childs, who recently conducted a workshop on burnout prevention for mental health professionals:

I am a grandmother who works in the Grief counseling and Critical Incident Stress fields. I have, over the past 35 years, had the honor of working with many people facing serious illness, grief, and loss. One of my incredible clients, also a grandmother, shared this concept of loss and grief with me. It is called the Heart Hotel. She was a homeless woman who had sustained multiple losses of family members and friends, including 2 sons and a husband.

Her quote: My heart is like a hotel. Everyone that I love has a room in my heart hotel. When someone dies or goes away, no one can replace their room in my heart hotel. I am like Mrs. Winchester, of the Winchester Mystery House, in that I can add rooms to my heart as I meet new people to love. This is what I do with the empty rooms: I fill them up with the love, memories, and good times, that even death or loss cannot take away. It becomes a treasure forever, reminding me that love never dies.

And that is the work of grief and stress – Gently releasing the pain, trauma and loss, and claiming the love, joy, and memories. For those are yours to keep forever in the Heart Hotel.