Monday, November 10, 2008

Jean and her Grandchildren

Anybody knowing me and my love and respect for my deceased wife, would expect me to post a blog about Jean Maddex. How better to do that than to relate her relaltionship to HER grand-children?

There are undoubtedly millions of grandmothers, as well as billions of grandchildren and great-grandchildren in our nation. All, it seems to me, have an unique relationship. I'm not so brash as to claim that Jean had the BEST relationship with her grandchildren of all time, but she's the one I know about, and hear about from our grandchildren. And, according to them, she was the BEST. As one of them said at her memorial service, "She was MY grandma!"

What did she do that endeared her so to them? Not unexpectedly, I'd have to say her LOVE for them, and she TOLD them so. She also demonstrated it to them. She DID things for them. She spent TIME with them - not the so-called "quality time" we hear about today that equates "quality" with actual minutes and hours. When we went to see them, or they to see us, she always "grabbed" them first - kissed them and hugged them. When they came, she cooked for them also, which makes me wonder WHEN she had time for that.

She played with them, and invented special non-traditional games or stories for them. Her stories were many times "made up" ones in her mind, although she sang or read MANY traditional kids' stories. Traditionally, teenage boys don't like to be seen by their peers with their parents, or grandparents. One of ours was like that. Although, when it came to Grandma's Story Time told to her granddaughter in bed, THIS teenage grandson slipped unnoticed (he thought) into the bedroom, and lay on the floor beside the bed - listening to HIS grandma!

If there were two "kids" who needed special seat belts or restraints in the car, she insisted that she sit BETWEEN them in the back seat, telling stories all the while.

One year, we hosted for a week, 5 of our grandchildren who were old enough to go to Kings Island. For the 6 days we DIDN'T go there, Grandma set up a mammoth chart for the "kids" that listed all of their daily chores (make bed; take bath; brush teeth; don't clutter; don't argue or fight; etc.) Each "transgression" resulted in 25cents taken off the promised $5.00 they were to receive at the end of the week. Boy, did that work! I won't report the end result, to save embarrassment, but it was a huge success. And, cost me almost $25.00.

Jean Maddex was THE grandma, as far as our grandchildren were concerned. And, in some ways, that feeling has passed down to the NEXT generation. As she lay dying, one of our younger ones cried, "But I didn't get to say good-bye!" He did though, and he got right up to her ear to tell her he loved her, just before she joined Jesus in Heaven.

In Proverbs 31:10-31, a virtuous woman is described. In verse 28, we read: "Her children arise up and call her blessed; (grandchildren also) and her husband also, and he praiseth her."

That's what I'm doing, and what this post is all about!

Virtuous woman? That was Jean Maddex!

Praise the Lord!


Molly Sabourin said...

Virtuous indeed! And funny and attentive and wonderful! My childhood is full of warm memories thanks in large part to you and grandma both!!
Thank you for this thoughtful post!

Jenn said...

Dear Grandpa Mike,
What a wonderful tribute to your beloved wife!! I love hearing about how much you love her. I am sure that her grandchildren loved her so....I'm so glad that you started a blog! You are an inspiration to me!
Jenn (Molly's friend from Moody)
I hope you remember me!

Grandpa Mike said...

Hi Jenn! Sure I remember you. It took my brain a little while to extend the "Jenn" to "Jennifer", but I did it. You used to come to visit us with Molly where we lived in "that state over east", to paraphrase Woody Hayes. Hope to see you again.

Grandpa Mike

Bobby said...

If I remember correctly, I don't think Molly got the full five dollars. She was furious, of course, but Grandma did not back down.

Carinjean said...

A great discription of Aunt Jean. I can remember alot of love and laughter given to her nieces and nephews over the years too. Once Bill, Sandy and I were there on Pleasant street and Aunt Jean wanted us all outside so she could clean. She started screaming and told us that a huge spider was in the kitchen and for us kids to stay outside and wait for the fire department. She had taken an old mop and tied several ends together to make it look huge and ugly. Needless to say her house got cleaned and we got fresh air. LOL

paige maddex said...

Grandpa - what a wonderful tribute to Grandma Jean. Such a wonderful example she set!

Gene said...

Not only a Great Wife,Mother,Grandmother,Great Grandmother, also A wonderfull Aunt. Gene $ Dorothy