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

TITLE: Love Revealed
By nicole wian


The last time my mother asked to visit, I was apprehensive. I love my mother, but we had shared a strained relationship for many years. Even our phone conversations were brief and laced with tension. To be truthful, she made me nervous. I’d felt that I could never do or be enough in her eyes. Yet, when she said she wanted to come, I, of course, conceded.

The day she arrived, I met her at the door and she carefully stepped inside with a guarded smile. Her declining age had left her with a slow gait, and she looked like she’d aged ten years in the last two. My heart broke and compassion overwhelmed me. I put my arms gingerly around her. She patted my back, her expression weary. I had the feeling that this would be an extremely difficult visit. Just as she surveyed my house with a critical eye, Connor and Hannah came bounding down the stairs. I had to slow them when they reached us, or their hugs would have toppled Grandma over.

Instantly, my mother softened. A huge smile appeared, her eyes again looking youthful. She embraced them with a fierceness defying her health. “Where’s your baby?” she asked, and Connor answered, “Sleeping,” grabbing her hand to take her up to Lily’s room.

“Oh no, honey.” I said. “Let’s let her sleep.”

“We’ll see her when she wakes,” my mom said and allowed herself to be led to the couch where she sat positioned between them, one on each side, squishing her.

Over the visit, I found my children couldn’t get enough of her. She couldn’t do much, but she sat with them, giving them undivided attention and they were entranced, listening to her talk, mouths agape. She listened to them chatter, never tiring, playing board games with them which I had not had the energy or time to do much of since Lily had been born. My mother beamed in the presence of my children, and there were moments I felt a bit jealous, both that they had seemed to have forgotten me entirely and that my mother was so enthralled by them. But the bigger part of me was warmed to see the vast love they shared.

I won’t say that she and I got on as well. There were minor disagreements when I would bring certain subjects up. She had an opinion on everything and it never seemed to match mine. We wouldn’t argue, but her lips would purse and she’d shake her head at the absurdity of whatever it was I was speaking of.

And I was tired. Because of her conditions, she needed more attention. The prayer of my heart was, Make me a servant, Lord. Give me patience. And He did. At night, I’d fall into bed, exhausted but grateful that I’d survived another day with no major issues.

And before she left, I witnessed something amazing. I found the children upstairs in Grandma’s room, perched on her bed, listening intently to what she was saying. They didn’t spot me, and I stood outside the door. Tears rose, as I heard my mother speaking to them about me in a way she’d never done to me, telling them stories of when I was young, stories that talked of the goodness she thought I possessed, stories of how hard I’d worked in college, how smart I was. Then she told them how hard I worked now, and said I was the best mother she’d ever seen and she was so proud of her daughter who gave her such wonderful grandchildren. My children were spellbound, hearing me spoken of this way, as if they were hearing a tale of a superhero. I was just about to return downstairs when my mother looked up. There were tears in her own eyes and when she saw me, she smiled warmly. I didn’t know what to say.

“Come in here, Kate.” she said, patting the spot next to her. Like a child myself, I sat close to her, burying my head against her. She kissed the top of my head and whispered, “I do love you. More than you’ll ever realize.”

Now I know, it’s not more than I’ll ever realize. It’s the love of a mother. That same abounding love I feel for my children. She feels the same for me today as she did when I was born. And it’s as close as we can come to understanding the love of the Father.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Kristen Hester04/12/08
Excellent, excellent writing. Very sharp. This flows nicely and you weave a beautiful picture of a grandmother's love (and a strained parent/child relationship). Nicely done!!
Kristen Hester04/12/08
Excellent, excellent writing. Very sharp. This flows nicely and you weave a beautiful picture of a grandmother's love (and a strained parent/child relationship). Nicely done!!
Joshua Janoski04/13/08
A very well written and heartwarming story. Sometimes parents have a difficult time expressing their love for their children, but I am glad that this mother was able to do so in her own way.

You have great writing talent. I look forward to reading more of your entries. :)
Patty Wysong04/13/08
This brought tears to my eyes. You did a great job conveying the tension as well as the emotions you felt. Good job!
Sheri Gordon04/17/08
Congratulations on your 3rd place. This is a beautiful piece. Nice job with the topic.