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How Memories of My Grandmothers Affect My Grandmothering

Grandparent, added to MsDora's profile of teacher and counselor after she became a senior citizen, gives her a new interest to explore.

Remembering My Grandmothers

Before I grasped the concept of God, my maternal grandmother was my only refuge and strength, my very present help in times of trouble. She was always there.

My paternal grandmother was a different image of God, with a standing order for me to ask and receive, seek and find, knock and watch the door open. She provided for me generously.

Now that their granddaughter (yours truly) has become a grandmother, I am determined to pass on the love principles my grandmothers taught me.

Grandmother's Scolding.  By António José Patrício (1827-1858)

Grandmother's Scolding. By António José Patrício (1827-1858)

(1) The Vision of Womanhood

I want my granddaughter to be glad that she’s a girl; but I want her to determine her career path according to her passion and potential, rather than her gender.

My granddaughter accepts and adores my present image since she has no reference to who I was in my youthful, livelier days.

The vision of womanhood I present to her is branded with characteristics I saw in my grandmothers and applied to my own life. Among other features:

  • Self-worth as an individual and as a female.
  • Self-respect evidenced by my speech, my appearance, and my conduct.
  • Positive, helpful attitude toward other females, demonstrated in my interaction with her mother and other women in our space.

Healthy, confident womanhood will just be the foundation on which she grows into the best achiever she can be.

Grandmother's Lap. By Aleksander Mroczkowski (Polish painter 1850-1927)

Grandmother's Lap. By Aleksander Mroczkowski (Polish painter 1850-1927)

(2) The Sound of Love

Grandparents and grandkids profoundly affect one another – just because they exist! This bond is probably the most simple form of love that exists.** — Arthur Kornhaber, M.D., The Foundation for Grandparenting.

My mother and I lived with her mother, and I can still hear my grandmother praying that her granddaughters become “corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” It is a quote from Psalm 144 in the King James Version, the only one we had back then.

It was not just the words (because I didn’t understand them). It was the earnestness and the sense of something extraordinary which sounded like love. I wanted to deserve that love and whenever she praised me or defended me, I renewed my commitment to make her proud.

Thanks to modern technology, distance will have no bearing on when and how often my granddaughter hears my voice. She will hear me call her name; sing a song and, as a tribute to my grandmother’s memory, pray a prayer. Whichever way I choose, I want my words to speak love and affirmation.

(3) The Fragrance of Family

If you have ever been attracted by a person's scent, it may be their genes you smell. - Jeff Carpenter (ABC News 1/2/2002)

Two strangers may bond quickly and discover afterwards that they are biologically related. When that happens some say (at least, in the Caribbean they do) that they “smell the blood,” suggesting that relatives have a similar scent. If that were true, it might account for special bonding between grandbabies and grandparents.

Grandmother Combing. By Georgios Jakobides (1853-1932)

Grandmother Combing. By Georgios Jakobides (1853-1932)

Within that bond, there is a sense (perhaps a scent) which provides clues of what love expression serves each child best. It reveals how to satisfy the security and self-worth of each one. That is why, I believe, that regardless of the competition and jealousy which develop among siblings and cousins, grandmothers know how to make each one feel like the favorite.

May my granddaughter always sense the fragrance of favor, faith, and everything else family in my company.

(4) The Flavor of Wisdom

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother. – Proverb

In other words, if the story does not make sense to Grandma it is because she has the insight to discern that there is something missing or not true about it. Her first concern is to help the granddaughter sort out the facts. Grandmother’s wisdom in loving, listening, supporting, and guiding – especially when it comes to the facts of life, comes from various sources:

  • Lessons learned from experiences of naïvety and folly.
  • Hands-on training in parenting the granddaughter’s parent.
  • Examples from her own parents and grandparents.
  • Continuing- education efforts to master the art of grandparenting.

My granddaughter may not understand wisdom at the start, but when she does, I want to be an example of that virtue. It always thrills me when folks mention that something about me reminds them of my grandmother’s wisdom. My aim is to establish a girl-friendly relationship in which my granddaughter feels comfortable to be herself, cry, laugh, jump or cuddle with the assurance that my response will be appropriate.

Grandmother's Stitching. Adolf Humborg (1847-1921)

Grandmother's Stitching. Adolf Humborg (1847-1921)

(5) The Touch of Heaven

Grandmas and grandpas are grand-angels. Terri Guillemets

I remember my paternal grandmother sitting me up on her lap and cuddling when everyone else thought I was too grown for that. It was a touch of heaven, having my secret need supplied without having to request it.

I shall attempt to touch my granddaughter with more than my hands--with the gleam in my eye expressing awe of being in her presence, with laughter and smiles to evoke her joy, with heartfelt interest revealing genuine love and care.

I intend to deliver the touch of heaven in my hugs, every chance I get.


*Granka, Julie: The Tech Museum of Innovation, Relatedness (11/02/2015)

**Parenthood: The Grandparent-Grandchild Bond Copyright 2015 - Dominion Enterprises)

© 2015 Dora Weithers


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 08, 2020:

Christy, thanks for your feedback. My little one is growing so beautifully, thank the Lord!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 08, 2020:

Rochelle, I'm happy that you had the blessings of two grandmothers. Enjoy the memories!

Christy on March 01, 2019:

Very nice

Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on November 11, 2015:

Beautiful thoughts :) You are blessed lady to have and to hold grand children :) I had two grandmas and a great grand ma when I was small. All have gone to be with the Lord. I still remember some of the things they have taught me :) Take care :)

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 15, 2015:

Radhikasree, thanks for your feedback. Glad you enjoyed the article and the memories of your grandmothers

Radhika Sreekanth from Mumbai,India on May 15, 2015:

Your hub reminded me of my grand mothers with whom I spent few lovely days. Nice to read about your love towards them.

Voted up, beautiful and interesting.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 12, 2015:

Thank you, Lifegate, Of course, grandparenting is just as special for grandfathers.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 12, 2015:

I think you just about covered it all here, Dora. You packed so much wisdom for the future into your lesson, and I do believe that much of what you shared applies to men as well as women. Thank you for sharing it with us just as you will with your blessed granddaughter.

Supuni Fernando from Colombo, Sri Lanka on May 11, 2015:

Yes indeed I am, I was described a close lookalike to my paternal grandma so I could agree with the chromosome theory. And congratulations on the granddaughter. Best wishes for the mother and the expecting baby.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 11, 2015:

Thanks, Supuni. My day was good. So you're an example of the special bond between granddaughter and paternal grandmother. So happy for you that you could enjoy that special relationship. Thanks for your interesting feedback.

Supuni Fernando from Colombo, Sri Lanka on May 11, 2015:

I found this really emotional since I have two grandmothers: one is 92 years old and the other is 96. I look a lot like my grandma from my father's side and I've noticed I have the same traits as her. I am really proud of her since she was a teacher and had many students.

I adore all the pictures you have added into the article, and I'd say the first one resembles my grandma the best :)

This is an interesting article and I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 11, 2015:

Thanks, Romeos, for your Mothers Day greeting. I've waited and waited for these little angels to enter my life, so I pray that I fulfill whatever is expected of me as a granmother. Thanks for your kind words as well.

Romeos Quill from Lincolnshire, England on May 10, 2015:

A lovely Hub MsDora and congratulations on your new arrival. The new child couldn't have a better role model for her formative years.

Pleased to share and pin;

Happy Mother's Day.


Ann Carr from SW England on May 09, 2015:

Thanks, Dora, you too. Our Mothers' Day was back in March; we seem to be the only ones who have it earlier!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 09, 2015:

Ann, your boys and girls have a special grandmother. Blessings on you all! Happy Mothers Day!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 09, 2015:

Thank you, Mary. Your comment is so encouraging and enjoyable. I appreciate you.

Ann Carr from SW England on May 09, 2015:

Yes, I'm lucky. I also have two grandsons (my older daughter's sons) and like to think I can pass on some fun and wisdom to them too. They're all so special, boys and girls.

Mary Craig from New York on May 08, 2015:

How lucky your granddaughter will be to have a loving and knowledgeable grandmother like you. You have so much to offer her and know what and how to share with her.

I was intrigued by your "smell of blood" comment. How true, we always have a way of knowing our own.

This is a beautiful hub Dora. You have written it lovingly and the future looks bright for you and your new granddaughter. Congratulations on this wonderful hub and your new granddaughter.

Voted all but funny.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 08, 2015:

Wow, Ann. You've got them in various age groups, so I know you enjoy a variety of fun! Thanks for sharing your joy Blessings on all of us grandmothers!

Ann Carr from SW England on May 08, 2015:

What a wonderful hub you've written here and I agree with you totally. I'm very close to my oldest granddaughter, 14; the 4 year old and I have great fun together and she's full of cuddles. The youngest is only a few weeks old but I spent much of her first week with her so feel that we have bonded too. What a joy they all are, each in their own special way. They are my daughter's daughters (I have no sons).

We're away at the moment but I'm longing to see them again next week.

I too want to pass on the values I hold dear, to teach them as much as possible of what I've learnt in life, in order for them to maybe avoid some of the pitfalls and to appreciate the wonders of this world.

Up ++ and shared.


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 07, 2015:

Folurish, that's a blessing for your daughter to live so closely to her grandmother. I would like that! Thank you for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 07, 2015:

Thanks, stricktlydating. The topic of grandmothers is surely beautiful.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 07, 2015:

Congratulations on your new granddaughter. May you enjoy each other for many years. I particularly loved your sentiment, "I want my granddaughter to be glad that she’s a girl; but I want her to determine her career path according to her passion and potential, rather than her gender." My mother has been an important influence in my daughter's life, as we intentionally moved from out-of-state to a mile from their home so that we could reside close to them. Grandmothers teach so much about what it is to be nurturing and vibrant and powerful in a family.

StrictlyQuotes from Australia on May 07, 2015:


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 06, 2015:

Torrilynn, skipping over you was not intentional. I jumped to your profile page, and forgot what I was doing by the time I came back. Thanks for your kind comment and good wishes!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 06, 2015:

So there you are, Eric! Happy for you and your family, especially the grandparents who are delighted to have their grandson within arms' length. Precious memories to share!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 06, 2015:

Manatita, by the grace of God some of us are making the effort to be what grandmothers are designed to be. Thanks for your observation and good wishes.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 06, 2015:

Thanks, Cynthia. I can imagine how much you enjoy those granddaughters. I was so happy to find that fact, I've told just about everyone I talked to since then. The link in the references also has some good information.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 06, 2015:

Thanks, Alicia. Grandmothers, and now grandchildren are really special to me.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 06, 2015:

Perspycacious, your preference of portraits is the same as mine and I agree with your explanation. Thanks also for your suggestion about reading this to my granddaughter. I appreciate you!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 06, 2015:

I enjoyed this very much. We are visiting my wife's homeland and the joy of seeing my son with his grandmother is a special joy indeed. Thank you.

manatita44 from london on May 05, 2015:

Very nice article about Grandmothers. I do not know if life allows them to be as they used to be. Still, there is much love about and many do well. Excellent Hub.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on May 05, 2015:

MsDora, this is very beautiful! Congratulations on this new chapter in your life as a Grandma-- I know you will enjoy and be enjoyed and a blessing! I was very interested to read that initial quotation: " A paternal granddaughter ends up getting an X chromosome that is almost exactly the same as her grandmother's. This lets her share a little extra DNA with that grandmother.

— Julie Granka, Stanford University*

because I am a paternal grandmother to two wonderful little granddaughters who delight me to no end. Thank you! ~Cynthia

torrilynn on May 05, 2015:

this was a great testament indeed to your grandmother. Best of wishes. Voted up.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 05, 2015:

Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your granddaughter! This is a beautiful hub about grandmothers which has wonderful illustrations.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 05, 2015:

Ejoyed, even if I myself am a grandfather!

First painting was my choice because the love, trust, and respect of the children has already been won by events of their interactions in the past.

I hope that one day your granddaughter will read this, or better still that you will read it to her one day and record it on something she can listen to any time she chooses to.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2015:

Denise, I am impressed that you remember your grandmother's smell. Glad that you enjoy reminiscing about her.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2015:

Edward, thanks for sharing your beautiful memories of your grandparents. What an excellent tribute!

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on May 05, 2015:

I remember my grandmother's soft silver-white curly hair. She was a dear woman, and I loved being near her. She died when I was in my late teens, and life was never the same! I used to love going to her home and hugging her. She had a smell about her that made me think of the lilacs and flowers I used to love in her yard. Thanks for the fond memories!

Ed Palumbo from Tualatin, OR on May 05, 2015:

My maternal grandparents emigrated from Spain before World War I, and lived nearby. My grandfather was a stoic man with a remarkable work ethic, but my grandmother's example was one of consistent caring, warmth, humor and faith. Their life had not been easy but, with their discipline (Grandpa) and consistent love (Grandma), they raised four children to productive adulthood on the lower East Side of Manhattan during challenging times of Prohibition and the Great Depression, and they would prove an example for me. My grandmother was also a model of quiet courage, resilience and patience. It is my hope, when I cross the river, that my grandmother's face will be among the first I see.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2015:

Thelma, glad to stir up some good memories of your grandmother. Thanks for your kind comment and I pray with you that you will experience grandparenting.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2015:

Bill, you know the blessing that family is! Thanks for your affirmation and encouragement.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on May 05, 2015:

What a beautiful calming hub! It reminded me of my own grandmother who was always there for me as a kid. Enjoy your life as a grandmother, I wish I will be in the future. Thanks for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2015:

Frank, thanks for your kind support. Perhaps I am creating the calm I need. I accept your blessing!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 05, 2015:

I will just echo what others have said. This really is beautiful. I love that you are passing on lessons learned...tradition and family important in today's world. Bravo my friend.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on May 05, 2015:

I enjoy reading your hubs Msdora because you do have calming words.. no matter the subject bless you dear one :)

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2015:

Shauna, you'll enjoy being a grandmother whenever it happens. It's been 2 years since I became a grandmother and I don't think the excitement wears off. Thanks for your kind sentiment.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2015:

Word, thanks for sharing my joy. My new granddaughter is expected to arrive as in expected to be born (smile). Hopefully, she and her brother will visit me in the Caribbean one day.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2015:

Thanks for your prayer, Jodah. I am looking forward to my new gift.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 05, 2015:

Dora, this is beautiful. Contemplating what you plan to offer your granddaughter is a true testament of love and wanting to be a huge part of her life. I have not yet had the pleasure of being a grandmother. Hopefully, one day....

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on May 05, 2015:

Hi MsDora, a beautiful granddaughter is really worth looking forward to seeing. I am so happy for you. That is so sweet of her to come see you. I'm sure that Gabriel is coming too. What is her name?

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 05, 2015:

Beautiful hub MsDora. I pray that you have a wonderful relationship with your new/first granddaughter. Thank you for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2015:

Faith, you are such a joyful grandmother; I can just imagine how your grandchildren long for your company. Thanks for sharing your precious sentiments.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on May 05, 2015:

Oh my, MsDora, this is an extraordinary and beautiful testament to what it means to be a grandmother and the special bond between a grandmother and granddaughter.

Whoever came up with "Grand" when referring to a "Grandparent", especially a "Grandmother" knew that joy. I know I know exactly of that special bond between my granddaughters/son and me. It is truly grand. I believe there is that blood bond they can smell which they know is love.

That one photo remind me of when I hold my grandchildren, even when they are now getting a bit too big. They just love it and I stroke their hair and sing them songs. We grandmothers know that there is something Grand about the grandchildren.

You are going to bless your granddaughter and she you. We love our children, but there is just something grand about the grandchildren.

Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

God bless you and yours always