Dear Lois: I really feel sorry for grandparents who are denied seeing their grandchildren; that is so sad.
I never had any children, but the man I married had two, a boy and a girl, from a former marriage. They grew up, married and had children. My stepson had five daughters, and when the girls were small they used to spend weekends with us. The 4-year-old asked me one day, "Grandma, can't you come home with us and be our sister?"
I thought for a minute and told them I really had to stay and take care of Grandpa. Then it was her turn to think for a minute, "Oh," she said, "Mama will come and do that." _ Irene M. Davis, Redding, Calif.
Dear Irene: Grandparents come to grandparenting in many ways, and I'm convinced that it's not how we get there _ it's how we deal with life once we're there. You are obviously a loving grandmother, and just because you didn't give birth to children doesn't mean you have to miss any of life's rewards. So this is a reminder to anyone who's lonely _ somewhere there are children who would like another adult to enter their lives. No life is ever too full for love.
Dear Lois: I am a happy grandmother. I have no complaints at all about my grandchildren. I once asked my daughter how it felt to have a "kooky" mother, and she replied, "Mother, you aren't kooky; you're just different." I live in a retirement community with health care. My husband had a stroke seven years ago, then another two months later. He is able to watch TV, play bridge, walk around our house. I enliven the folks who live here by wearing a different hat each Sunday to church. I dress up for any of the activity programs that call for dress-up. Once when one of the religious ladies here asked me "if I wanted a miracle," I said that I have one _ my husband is still with me after seven years. _ Madeline Kimsey, Orlando
Dear Madeline: Somewhere, someone who's been complaining about the weeds next door, the weather or the food is going to read your words and know when he or she is well off. Your daughter's right _ you are different. Different and delightful. Keep going to those costume parties!
Dear Lois: My granddaughter, Kristi Long, was talking to her great-grandmother, and Grandmommy B was explaining that when she was 3 years old _ Kristi's age _ she had freckles all across her nose. She wrote to a mail order house for something guaranteed to remove freckles, but all it removed was part of the skin on her face. Kristi, in a concerned and comforting voice, answered, "Don't feel bad. It's all right, Grandmommy B. All you have on your face now is wrinkles." _ Bea Christison, Petaluma, Calif.
Dear Bea: Your story is just one of the adorable ones that keep coming in. There have been so many cute and loving anecdotes contributed by readers since I began asking for them that they will now be a regular feature of the column. So keep sending your anecdotes involving your grandchildren. For each one used, you will receive a copy of Grandchildren Are So Much Fun, I Should Have Had Them First. And, most of all, you'll have the fun of seeing your story in print! So go to it, grandparents. The world is waiting!
Send comments and questions to Lois Wyse: "Wyse Words," Maturity News Service, Suite 968, National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045.
1994, Maturity News Service