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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Grandma's Highest Reward
By John Huckstep


Grandparents are one of God’s miracles in this life. They come in all colors, shapes and sizes. They arrive at the house like Santa Clause. A arm full of gifts, hugs and big smiles. They have the luxury of spoiling their grandchildren and leaving while the kids are in a state of heavenly bliss. Most grandparents enjoy their lavish role but some have been cheated from the grandness of pampering their grandchildren.

I first saw Rose as she tugged four little children into the prison visiting room. She was a frail seventy six year old gray haired woman, she stood five foot five and she was hunched over as if she was carrying a mountain on her shoulders. The children were smiling but it was apparent by the way they were dressed that grandma’s social security check provided very few luxuries.

I watched as she slowly guided the young children toward the metal table and chairs that had been assigned to her for the evening visiting session. They all sat down and patiently waited for their dad to appear from the locked door that separated the visitors from the inmates.

Her Son was in prison for using and selling methamphetamine. When he was arrested the children were found in disarray. The two young females were running around the house naked and two boys were watching T.V. on the couch. The residence was extremely filthy and there was a large 32 gallon trash can in the children’s bedroom that was assaulting to the nostrils.

The children’s mother had died from a meth overdose and Rose was the only other relative that would take the children in. So at seventy six years old with little more than a social security check Rose found herself assuming the role of mother and father to these dejected children. Since Rose only had her social security check there was no escaping their poverty. Life had dealt her a bad hand but I never heard her complain. Frail and weak she brought those children to prison every Thursday evening so they could talk with their father.

I often wondered about the dreams Rose had for her retirement years. She would often say: “Ah, the golden years, What’s so golden about them?” Then she’d gather up the children and shuffle out the prison doors.

Rose died on April 22, 2007. Her son was escorted in handcuffs to his mothers funeral. The children stood around the grave site and watched as their grandma was lowered into a hole dug in the earth. The children are now wards of the state as they wait for their father to be released from prison.

Rose was the epitome of love. She poured out the last years of her life for others and wanted nothing for herself. Like thousands of other grandparents Rose was deprived of the normal comings and goings of grandparents. She assumed the role of mother, father, provider, and teacher at seventy six years old.

Like the apostle Paul, Rose fought the good fight, She finished her course, she kept the faith and her crown of righteousness is now hers (2 Timothy 4:7). The pleasures of this life are fleeting. God rest your soul Rose.

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This article has been read 529 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Patty Wysong04/12/08
What a testimony of a grandmother's love. This happens so often--very sobering. I'm glad there are grandparents out there that love and care about the children.
Glynis Becker04/12/08
I surely admire grandparents who will take on the role of parent once again. This is a marvelous story of sacrifice and love. Thanks for sharing!
Joshua Janoski04/13/08
What a bittersweet story. I sure hope that the children are being well taken care of right now. It sounds to me like Rose did her best, and I am sure that her influence on those children was great. I pray that they hang on to it as they follow the road into adulthood.

Thank you for sharing this.
c clemons04/16/08
Good story about what happens alot today with grandparents assuming the role of parents in what is suppose to be their time. The first paragraph was not needed at all. A few missed words here and there, but overall a good job. Keep writing.
Joanne Sher 04/18/08
Congratulations, John, on placing 8th in your level with this piece. Great work!