More than a Grandparent


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May is for Mother’s Day; Father’s Day is represented in June; September is set aside for Grandparents.

Many of us had grandparents in our lives that represented more than just the term “grandma” or “grandpa.” They embodied so much of who we wanted to be when we got older. They left us with priceless memories and abiding advice that we tend to think about once, if not several times a day. There are certain things our society, with the ever-evolving changes and constant re-writing of definitions, which will never die — the legacy that grandparents leave to their grandchildren in different ways, sometimes without ever realizing it.

Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 12.31.57 PMMy Girl

I grew up in a time where I truly considered my grandparents to be the poster-people for what a grandparent should encompass, in particular, my grandmother. Her name was Priscilla Pauline but everyone called her Pat. I called her “my girl,” “G,” and my everything. While I didn’t grow up in the most traditional household, I was grateful that beyond that sat “my girl.”

Born in Portland, Maine in 1930, she was every bit of who I wanted to be. Having been born to a mother from Ireland, she was fiery and stubborn when she needed to be, but looking at her from the same blue eyes, she was loving, nurturing and as solid as a rock. My grandma was a homemaker and raised her four children in small town Ohio. However, the year I was born, she opened up the soft-serve ice-cream shop that she had thought about for years in the town square. She was driven, ambitious and determined to make it happen. This was also fairly unorthodox for women of her generation. My mother was not very maternal, so I relied heavily on my grandma, who was. One specific thing that she did for me was teach me how to bake. I made my first bundt cake with her, and she was the one I immediately called to ask what “folding in” meant on a recipe in a time when Google wasn’t an option. I could always rely on Jovan Musk as a gift on Christmas and the attached receipt to whatever clothing she purchased for me as she knew my picky nature. She loved Wendy’s burgers and frosty’s, and her bologna and cheese sandwiches can’t be replicated by anyone. My grandma was my confidant and my champion.

Three years ago this month my girl passed away and went to be with my grandfather in heaven. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about her and fight to hold the tears from streaming out. She gave me the blueprint for how I live my life as a wife, mother, and friend. My hope is that she left this Earth knowing how truly amazing and inspirational she was in every way. – Annie Osteen

Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 12.32.24 PMPammy

Pam Hood has three grandchildren: Sydney Seymour (age 30), Shianne Murray (age 25) and Reagan McRae “Mac” Flowers (age 9). All of her grandchildren tell the same story about “Pammy”… She shows her love by cooking your favorite food, or should we say feast? Whenever any of the grandchildren come to visit, she immediately asks “Well, what am I going to make?” Sydney loves her fried chicken, Shianne loves her cheese dip and Mac loves her famous Strawberry Cake, which is a staple at any birthday or special dinner. In this modern world, Mac, who lives across the street from her Pammy, can be seen riding her pink bike to her Pammy’s house in the afternoon for a snack of fresh strawberries and milk or in the morning before school for a bacon biscuit.

Pammy is equally fantastic as a Mother and is dearly loved by her entire family. – Deana Hood

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Growing up in Franklin, Tennessee meant vacations and holidays would be spent in Fort Smith, Arkansas with Kim’s extended family. Her Grandmas were best friends – Meemaw Pearl and Grandma Lollie taught her many things. Meemaw Pearl taught Kim how to be a homemaker, Christian daughter, wife and mother. She could make the meanest chocolate pie, the best batch of chicken and dumplins and always had friends over on Sunday night for Fellowship Group. Grandma Lollie taught Kim how to raise her family in church, be independent, and work hard. She owned Elmore’s Record shop, and Kim helped her organize records or get new merchandise out on the floor to sell, and eat Nestle Quik on vanilla ice cream! “Shopping was my favorite thing to do with both grandmas – they would let me buy anything I wanted!” Some advice that both grandmas gave Kim was to “Always love the Lord and live your life as a ‘mission field’ every day!” – Kim Stinson


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