Decorate your Igloo: Gratitude for My Bloom Grandparents in the Time of COVID

From the time my mother’s mom “Granny” heard my birthing cry to present texts with my grandparents-in-law and long phone calls with my dad’s parents, grandparents have been an integral part of my life. Chris and I were blessed enough to have 8 living grandparents when we married and 6 now, and I am so thankful for each of them.

My mom’s mom always known to me as Granny is an amazing lady who raised 4 kids in the turbulent 1960’s. As a proud octogenarian, she still makes time for all of her kids and grandkids and drives out to visit. I often feel like I’ve come full circle because I live in Minnesota, where she and my grandpa lived before they started their Colorado life. I have fond Minnesota visit memories from when I was a kid; I remember sliding down the stairs of her family’s former house and reveling in the green, green world of the family farm. I saw her treat her mother-in-law like her own mom. She has always enthusiastically and non judgmentally embraced new family members and potential family members. Spiritually, she inspires me with her love and faithfulness. She does devotions and journals every day and as I believe my mom says, she has God’s ear. I love spending time with her kindness and wisdom.

When I was little, my mom’s dad Grandpa Bunny would take me to the kitchen in the morning to prepare breakfast in bed for Granny: coffee, sausage, cinnamon raisin toast. We would watch the rising sun together over the foothills of Colorado. My granny recently texted me this picture so now you can experience it too.

Sunrise in the Colorado foothills

Grandpa Bunny would regale me with stories about geologic quests for gold and diamonds. One of his stories has come back to me lately. Once he was caught up in the mountains of Colorado in a blizzard and he had to build an igloo. He said that the biggest danger was not the cold or the wind – it was panic. If he panicked, he might have set out to try to make it back and died of hypothermia or contracted frostbite as happened to some of his friends. But he settled in and focused on what he could control – building the most perfect igloo he could. When he was done, he said he chose to keep working on it. He made each brick perfectly square. He kept the entrance cleared. He said he might even decorate the igloo.

Grandpa Bunny on a non-blizzard expedition with his burro Joe

I’ve never understood that story until the current blizzard of Coronavirus, financial change, and social isolation. However after a month in I do feel like I am in an igloo and the storm outside isn’t going away as fast as I would like. (In fact we are having a white Easter tomorrow!). My “igloo” is comfortable but I share it with two small needy beings so that changes the dynamic. The things I formerly relied on – work, daycare, other childcare options, the gym, restaurants, hair cuts, donuts – have largely gone away. I am left facing myself and my flaws.

I can’t control any of what is outside. What I can control is how I spend my time, decorating my igloo literally and figuratively, praying and spending time with these people I love, making lots of chalk and water color art, and taking it one Zoom meeting, one worksheet, one igloo brick at a time.

Thank you God for the gift of these amazing grandparents! And my other grandparents and grandparents in law that I will write about next time. Share your “grandparentudes” below!

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