Grandparent Feature

Grandma’s Heart

By: Jacque Miller, CSU Larimer County Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences

Roger was born in the Philippines in 1975. Before he was even born his parents didn’t want him. His only memory of his father was when he was leaving. “While I cried at the door, my memory of my mother was her shrugging her shoulders and, without words, saying there was nothing she could do to stop him.” Roger struggles with his feelings of confusion and abandonment.

Roger lived with his grandma in shacks in the middle of Manila. Under her care he had happy memories. At this time he could just be a kid. Simple things made life seem good. “I remember being happy . . . things we did . . . like putting dry ice in paint cans with water, and Boom! Fireworks!” He often went to the market with his grandma and looked for coins. “I remember her telling me to keep my head down just in case there were coins on the ground. When we got back from the market, she would tell me to play, but stay close so I could hear her call for me to thread her needle. Grandma sewed all day while I played.”

When Roger was 8 years old his grandma took a different way to the market. He didn’t realize she was taking him to an orphanage. He spent two years there before he was adopted in November 1985. “My adopted parents had their hands full in my teenage years, but they treated me like their own. They loved and provided for me where my real parents didn’t.” Today Roger recognizes that her decision to take him to the orphanage was to give him an opportunity for a second chance. “I realize now that I wouldn’t be here without God’s hands and my grandma’s heart. Though we didn’t have much, she gave me everything she could.”

Roger’s message to grandparents is thank you for your unselfish hearts. “You are strong oak trees that your grandchildren hug when they feel lost and beat up by this world.” To the grandchildren in their care his message is remember to thank them. “Do little things for them; it’ll put a smile on their faces.”

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