Two days ago, my aunt posted the above photo of my grandparents on Facebook, wishing my grandmother (we called her Nanny) a happy birthday in Heaven. She’s been gone from us for quite some time, but seeing the photo, while we simultaneously fight this coronavirus pandemic and Easter is upon us, made me contemplate my pretty blessed life thus far.
While no life is perfect, and my own family’s past year and half has been beyond weird and strange and sad and disruptive, I look back with joy on all that we have been blessed with in our lives.
I was very fortunate to have all of my grandparents in my life for a good period of time—enough to get to know them, though we lost my mother’s father when he was merely 63 years old of Leukemia. But the others, I had the opportunity to spend time with and get to know. I believe I do a good job of keeping their memories alive because I think of all of them so often. As well, it seems they must have impacted me in ways I cannot even count, because I find myself writing novels about the love between and grandmother and a granddaughter (and grandfather) so often. Additionally, I see the wonderful relationships both of my children, now 19 and 17, have with both sets of their grandparents, and it warms my heart. My parents and my husband’s parents have been a big part of our children’s lives. They have been involved in the rearing of our children. They have pitched in during countless times when my husband and I had to work. They have watched them when they were little and we wanted to get away for a few days. For that, we are so thankful. Our typical Thanksgiving celebration table consists of the eight of us: my immediate family of four, my parents, and Anthony’s parents.
This year, sadly, due to our new social distancing norm, our annual traditional Easter dinner and celebration must be put on hold for now. As we are all experiencing the need to stay apart, this pandemic has curbed the time we can spend with others, and hearing tales of friends who have parents in nursing homes or assisted living facilities and being unable to visit hurts my heart. Luckily for us, we are able to visit my parents, who live down the road, and sit on each other’s back porches, keeping our 6-feet apart. We check in with my in-laws regularly via the telephone.
Perhaps the reason why stories of grandparents are folded into my storytelling is because I value the influence and support that grandparents provide to our children. There’s a special bond a grandparent has with a grandchild, and few relationships are as precious, supportive, loving, and lasting. While other fiction writers may write about fantasy, erotica, science fiction, murder mysteries, or other interesting genres, my focus in my contemporary fiction storytelling is on relationships—those that influence us, those that remind us of generosity and kindness, and those that speak to the power of enduring love.
This Easter season, therefore, I would like to celebrate grandparents—their love and their support. Our family would not be the same without them.
To read Stephanie’s contemporary fiction books, visit the links below: