CALL me a frustrated grandmother. Reading Linda Hoye’s recent post, Grandma Time, caused me to consider (again) how dispersed my family is — my grown children have moved to Fort Bragg CA, Austin TX, and Salt Lake City, UT (my youngest son is still at home and who knows where he’ll end up).
Like Linda, I grew up without the benefit or influence of a grandmother and always thought that someday I would provide that imagined gift to my own grandchildren. But they, whom I adore, are all growing up too far away, too fast, and without enough of that all important Grandma Time.
With everyone so spread apart geographically, busy with their own families, not to mention in-laws and step-parents, it’s almost impossible to get everyone together for holidays, weddings, and other events. We’ve discovered that we’re more successful when we plan our Thanksgiving celebration the weekend before the actual date and Christmas in mid-December.
Recently, we’ve begun staying connected using social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. Skype allows us to see each other via webcam as we talk, though it’s sometimes difficult to schedule those face-to-face times together. This is all better than nothing, but if it were up to me, we’d all be close enough to make Nana’s house a regular thing.
I’ve been thinking about how writing is more important than ever as a way to stay connected. Whether it’s email, journal writing, or cards, recording our family stories and bits of history are gifts we can give our children, grandchildren, and beyond. I’ve even been thinking about reviving that crazy, old-fashioned habit of writing letters. For the human touch.
What about you? Is your family nearby or far away? How do you stay connected? And how do you keep your family stories alive?
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