While hanging my grandson’s cloth diapers out on the clothesline one sunny breezy day, a huge dose of joy jumped straight into my heart. It was palpable. As I pinned each diaper, attaching it to the rope stretched across my daughter’s back deck, I caught myself intensely thanking God for the amazing blessing of being a new grandmother. I communed with God with misty eyes amid the diapers, clothespins, sun, and breeze, thrilled that I could be right there in that present moment to ponder my brand-new role—even if I couldn’t get past the awesome wonder of it all. I stood there, took a breath, offered another prayer, and drank in the marvelous unspeakable graces.
My vocation as a mother of five children (and three in heaven) has always been my number-one priority in life ever since I became a mother. When little ones stirred in my womb I oftentimes anticipated the adventurous times ahead that we’d share when I would navigate the amazing vocation of motherhood in which through God’s miraculous design, and in union with my husband, my children could come into the world. Through that extraordinary vocation, along with my husband, I would become the first and foremost educator of my children, responsible for imparting the faith.
While raising each of my children, I didn’t yet fathom the immense joy that would one day be gifted to me and which would intensely flood my heart and soul when one of my children would also say “yes” to life. It was not until I held my little grandson in my arms, did I fully begin to understand that absolutely brand new powerful love that God was pouring into my heart.
Similar to being a mother, along with the great joy within the vocation is the great responsibility in being a grandmother. Grandmothers indeed help to shape and form the child’s conscience. I can never forget the influence that my grandmother had on me. I grew up with only one grandparent since the other three had passed on to their eternal reward before I was born. But my dear grandmother made up for the loss of the others. Her very contagious smile and the affectionate sparkle in her eyes which accentuated her love for the Catholic faith was bestowed upon me in her loving ways. Her home was decorated with sacred art and sacramentals, even in simple ways. Love seemed to burst at the seams in my grandmother’s simple abode. She certainly planted the seeds of faith in my heart and watered them regularly with her wisdom and virtuous Christian presence. I have no doubt that her generous teachings will remain etched on my heart and have unquestionably helped to form my heart and my conscience.
I can still see my grandmother’s beautiful face looking at me and doting over me as if I was her only grandchild. The truth is she had loads of grandchildren and great-grandchildren! Each one was immensely special to her.
Will my grandson see the light of faith in my eyes? I hope and pray that he will.
May God bless all grandparents in their beautiful vocation of planting the seeds of faith in their grandchildren’s hearts!
Copyright 2015 Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
Photos courtesy of Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. All rights reserved.