published Monday, June 9th, 2014

Grand Thoughts: Grandchildren can be the best medicine

My 85-year-old mother has fallen several times in recent weeks and, as of now, is having a difficult time with mobility. So she’s staying with my husband and me.

This is a lady who just a couple weeks ago was babysitting her 4-year-old great-granddaughter at least two days each week.

It’s been hard on her to transition from a lifelong independent woman to one who is dependent on her daughter. It’s an adjustment we’re experiencing together.

I’m a novice at navigating the somewhat complicated medical field but, thankfully, ContinCare Health Services came to the rescue and is helping my mom recover from her falls, as well as offering me guidance on how to properly care for her medical needs. Meanwhile, it is my goal to make Mother feel at home, comfortable and, most of all, loved.

And that is where the babies come in.

Oh, my gosh. If I live to be 85, please oh please oh please, let me have great-grandchildren in my life. My grandchildren, ages Tilleigh, 7; Evie, 4, and William, 21 months, are the best medicine for my mother. As luck has it, they live next door, so my mom gets a good dose of baby loving on any given day.

One night last week, Tilleigh and Evie spent the night with us. Tilleigh comforted her great-grandmother by sleeping through the night with her. We’re a very tight-knit family and the girls often spend the night with my mom. So Tilleigh didn’t think twice about snuggling with her great-grandmother, despite the fact that my mom is covered in horrible bruises (from her falls), and she can’t walk.

I remember as a child being terrified of the only great-grandmother I knew. Granted, I didn’t see her often, but when I did, she looked like a sour puss and scared the bejesus out of me. So when I see my granddaughter snuggling with her ailing great-grandmother, I can’t help but be thankful that the my grandchildren have been able to grow up around my mother.

My mother and I are enjoying the time we are spending together. She’s patient with me while I sit at the computer and work on stories for the newspaper. She doesn’t mind the quiet. But when her great-grandchildren walk through the door, her face lights up like it’s Christmas morning. The children bring her so much love, joy and constant entertainment. When they leave, she tells me about every conversation they had, what cute things the kids did, and how much she loves them. They make her happy.

My mom is on several medications, but it’s plain to see which medication is curing her ills — her great-grandchildren. What a gift these little children are to us and what a pleasure it is to see them heal my mom’s spirit with their love. The Beatles were right — all you need is love, and my mother is getting an endless supply.

Contact Karen Nazor Hill at khill@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6396.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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