I have to admit I’m a bit
uncomfortable with the new Times article about grandparents raising
grandchildren. To read the article, it sounds as if I am almost
single-handedly taking care of Rozie and Sebastian, when in reality,
that is so very far from the truth. There is a saying that it “takes
a whole village to raise a child. In this case, it is taking a whole
Yes, I am actively involved in their
lives. Yes, I made accommodations and shifted my life around to fit
the kids. But so have many others involved in loving these babies.
My husband – Steve Weber, makes sure Sebastian’s up and off to
school mornings go smoothly while I dash around trying to get ready
for my Chicago commute.
Jeremy and Amy, Jamie’s brother and
his fiancÈe, have reordered to lives to “accommodate” my hectic
schedule in order to allow me to continue working on my doctorate.
After their upcoming marriage, they are moving in with us for a
while so the kids don’t experience another sudden loss in their
household. Amy is, in many ways, acquiring a built in family.
Jordan, 20, is learning how to do
the “daddy” things as well. He is often called on to take someone to
the doctor, or get the kids from daycare, bathe them, and tuck them
Jon reads stories, provides
transportation, and watches a very active 3 year old when “Nana”
simply needs down time.
Jamie’s dad’s family loves
Saturday’s with the kids. We still all meet for family counseling
sessions once a week, to help us deal with our ongoing feelings of
grief, anger, sadness, and overwhelm. Grandparents, aunts and
uncles, all offer their love and support and the much coveted
Jamie’s death has brought about a
strong sense of community – with her children at the center. I would
have it no other way.
The terrific people at the Duneland
YMCA childcare program, spend loving hours with both Rozie and
Sebastian. The kids know they are loved and cared for. But no one
person can claim to be “the” caretaker.
People wonder how the kids are
doing. They are loved. They are rearranging the way the look at the
world. They miss mom, but they
thank God for the people around us, who support us, love us, send
short notes that just say, “I’m thinking of you” and offer their
prayers as well.
So many pay-it-forwards in action.
Love you guys. And you know who you