What a wonderful meeting of the GaGa Sisterhood we had! And how appropriate that we met on National Grandparents Day. Thirteen of us sat in a circle and took turns responding to our topic: Who Are You When You’re Not Grandma?
Before we began, I explained that Grandparents Day was not dreamed up by Hallmark, as many of our members thought, but founded thirty years ago by Marian McQuade, a grandmother of 43 grandchildren.
Our first agenda item was the drawing for a free copy of The Art of Grandparenting and the winner…drum roll, please…was Beverly N., who was not able to attend. She was watching her grandson’s football game. We call those “excused absences” when you’re with your grandchildren. Beverly sent this email to explain her absence:
I thought about trying to do both, but it is so much fast driving and not doing justice to any one event. I wouldn’t be so interested in seeing this particular game, except that picking and crushing my grapes is coming up very soon and I could end up being busy the next 2 – 3 Sundays.
I guess this is what being a GaGa is all about!
With her vineyard and full time tailoring business, Beverly is just one of the multi-dimensional women in our organization.
Betty Z. brought five beautiful quilts to show us. She’s been sewing them for her family for years, and has made several for her four-year old twin grandsons. Last year she was heart-broken when they moved to Southern California. With a lot more time on her hands, she decided to become a docent at Filoli. She offered to take us on a tour of this incredible country estate and magnificent gardens in Woodside, California.
Carol T. told us she’s been so busy caring for her aging parents the past two years, she could write a book on the subject of eldercare. She actually did write a chapter on Alzheimer’s after her mother was diagnosed with it. Her mother passed away in August. Spending time with her three-year old granddaughter has helped ease the pain of her loss.
We often hear about competition with the “other” grandma. But not so with Dee and Wendy, who are both grandmothers of three-year old Mia. These two women and their husbands have taken five international trips together and are planning more. Dee has been an active member of Friendship Force, an international organization that promotes peace and understanding by learning about other cultures. She’s getting ready to travel to South Africa and stay with a family in Capetown.
These are just a few of the stories that unfolded at our meeting. As I reflect back on our wonderful circle of women sharing their passions, it seems so fitting that we celebrated who we are—not just as grandmas—but as multi-faceted women with many talents and interests.