Here’s to the grandmothers

Sue Williamson


I read with interest the Herald’s Mother’s Day edition on Sunday, May 12. I did feel that the authors of the edition missed an opportunity to feature another special group of “mothers” – those grandmothers who have resumed their parenting role by raising their own grandchildren, often because of physical, emotional or financial difficulties their children have encountered in their own parenting.

As a voluntary congregational and former home health nurse, I have encountered many such admirable grandmothers (and grandfathers) who are serving in this new role.

Their challenges are great because raising children in our world today is difficult for everyone, and particularly those who have already raised a family and earned a good retirement from full-time work at home or in a workplace.

My own grandmother, Helen Nestich, was one of those special grandmothers who came to help my father raise my three sisters and me after the death of our mother.

She’d immigrated to this country as a single teenager and, though she became a U.S. citizen, she never learned to read and write but helped us with our school work and growing our Catholic faith through regular attendance at Mass and the sacraments.

This she did in addition to caring for our many physical needs, even though she was in her 70s when she came to live with us.

To her and all the other special grandmothers who serve in that function today – Happy Belated Mother’s Day!