My Very “Special ” Needs Grandchild’s World

Submitted by Fifi Harris:

My very “Special ” needs Grandchild .Our Grandson Banjo is in the special needs category. I have learned so much from Banjo. He has shown me how to have a better world. Greed, Hate, Jealousy, Racism…. these are only some of the negative feelings in this world but not in Banjo’s world ! I often hug him and say “Banjo can I be in your world please?”. He just smiles with his beautiful smile and looks as if he is saying… someday Fifi, someday.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom


The pure heart of a special needs Grandchild can teach all of us

Special Needs Resources:

How Do You Want to be Remembered ?

Earlier this week I asked How to be a Grandma’s Facebook Friends, What single thing reminds you of your Grandma ?  A scent, item or place ? The answers I received were telling of how the smallest detail can leave a lasting impression on a child. The items most listed  were foods: Spaghetti, Meatballs,Candies, and Sweets to name a few. We had a friend list Virginia Slim cigarettes and another tell me a Martini was a reminder of Grandma. Places and Holidays ranked high on the list too.How a certain anthem played caused a Grandchild,who is now a Grandma, to  remember her Grandma’s loyalty to the crown. The lasting impressions a Grandma’s choices make can leave a Grandchild with fond memories.

Today I ask all of you How do you want to be remembered .For your love of life ? Your joy in the kitchen. How you rescued stray animals and nursed them back to health? Maybe your spirituality or your ability to sing a song that brings a tear to an eye. I for one will most likely be remembered for my love for the ocean and family.

Today  think back on memories of your beloved Grandma and take a look at how you will be remembered. 



The Zen of Grand Mothering

The Zen of Grand Mothering is another way of saying to be in the moment with your grandchild. We all have busy lives that demand all of us to go in different directions at all times. The word Zen has many different definitions. To be in the present moment is one definition. The whole point of Zen practice is to become fully aware, here and now.When We get the opportunity to spend time with our Grandchildren ,and all of our love ones, to be fully present both mentally and physically is essential to building a bond.With a child they tend to demand our undivided attention when in their presence.Often times we are interacting with our Grandchild at the same time as attempting to engage in other activities; Visiting with others, household chores and other activities. To set aside an hour , 1/2 a day or a weekend is very important. To practice the art of mindfulness with a child is essential. When we take time to sit and cuddle, hug, hold their hand and bond with them this is a Zen moment. Reading, singing,laughing are all ways to be in the moment.When your Grandchild is a teen often time they are not interested in spending time with you. What can help during this time is planning a physical activity away from distractions like television, I Phones and shopping.Take a walk near the ocean,find a park to explore,gardening and crafting are all good one on one activities when spending time with a teen. We think of teens as aloof and distracted when really they are wanting some Zen moments too.I hope this helps remind all of us to be present both physically and mentally with our loved ones.I know I need to practice this more often myself. How are ways to spend Zen moments with your Grandchildren or loved ones?


This Budda was a gift from my Mom ,Fifi, when Michael and I were married. Her intentions were to inspire some off spring of our own. While this was not in the cards for us I like to think this Budda is a sign of Grandchildren to come.

Grandma Fifi’s Words of Wisdom

Submitted by Fifi Harris ( Grandmother/Great Grandmother)

First of all when your grandchildren are born you are more than delighted!
There is only one big problem,
They don’t know you!

So what I did was made it a point to get to know each and everyone of my grand kids.

It should not  matter if you have 1 or 15 getting to know
each one of your grandchildren on a personal level is very important..
As a parent your children know you because they are around you everyday,
But as a grandparent it is your job to make yourself known.Take the time to connect with the child early and as they grow. Find something they love and encourage them.

I have heard a number of times “My grandchildren never come over.”
I believe it is due to the fact they have not let themselves be known, maybe they have not let them know at an early age that we as grandmas are here to stay and that we will always be here no matter what!
As long as they know that when life throws you lemons,
your grandma will be the one to help you make the lemonade.
You have done your job as a grandma!


My Grandmothers are Incredibly Strong and Admirable Women

Submitted by Hannah Gonzales (age 16 )

Nowhere in the world is as safe as grandma’s house. When you’re a kid, it’s the most comfortable place you can think of. The memories of being young and being at my grandma’s house stick out to me in the form of snapshots, little bits and pieces of sensations, like the always-present-yet-faint scent of strong perfume, or the way the light shines through the sitting room window on lazy afternoons. I remember how going to grandma’s house always meant that I was in for a treat, and whether it be a glass of homemade orange juice or a painting lesson, it never failed to excite me. I’m reminded of exactly how it felt to be there when I was younger and of all of the adventures I went on with grandma. Everything seemed so much bigger then; a trip to the store or to the beach seemed as if it was the trip of a lifetime. And yet, something so small, so mundane, lingers among my fondest memories.
My Grandma Toni, who was my dad’s mom and passed away in 2008, was, and remains to be, one of my favorite people that I’ve ever had the privilege to meet and get to know. She had quite the eccentric personality, and almost everything she did or said was hilarious. Her sense of humor was always shining, and there was very little that she would take seriously. She always took my side no matter what, and whether it be standing up to the preschool bully, or persuading my dad into getting me some new toy, she never failed at making sure that someone got what they deserved. Toni managed to make everything fun – we literally fed seagulls in the Big Lot’s parking lot every day, and it was actually made enjoyable. I’ll never forget all of her antics and all of her stories and everything that she’s taught me. I look up to her for her strength and for all that she’d gone through. I know that she didn’t just touch my life, but the lives of many others as well, and I will always remember her for the inspiration that she is.
My Grandma Fifi has always been a huge influence on my life, and she has taught me more over the years than I can ever put into words. Ever since I was a little girl, she has always been there for me, and she’s served so many roles in my upbringing; as my guide, my teacher, and my best friend. There are so many outstanding traits, and yet what I really admire is Fifi’s creativity and talent. She was the first person to really teach me how to draw and paint, and I cannot thank her enough for all of the time she’s spent with me and for all of what I’ve learned from her. Her artistic talents and visions expanded my own creative mind, and her motivation is my inspiration. Fifi’s strength and her undying love are radiant and encouraging, and I am so grateful for all of the memories that we have shared.

Both of my grandmothers are incredibly strong and admirable women, and I love them more than I can put into words.


Hannah’s Grandma Toni

The Big Question ?


Why did I start this Blog? I have asked myself this a few times in the last weeks. I have been asked by a few people too. I can’t blame the curious, that is how I found myself Blogging in the first place . My initial answer was to learn How to be a Grandma.  I have always been curious and a seeker of knowledge, not your school learned knowledge but knowledge of people and life. How and why people do what they do.  I look forward to being a Grandma one day and thought I need to be prepared. Granted none of my boys are married and no babies on the horizon for now. But I believe in being prepared.  I wanted learn from other Grandmas, to study so I can take on the role with knowledge and skills.  A  Masters in Grandma. I was expecting to have all of you instruct  me  on How to be a Grandma. You know learn when to say no, how much to discipline,  teach them some skills and not step on Mom and Dad’s toes and all that being a Grandma entails. What I was not expecting was to feel so much love and passion from all types of people. Men, Women and Children love their Grandmas.And Grandma’s can ‘t say enough about the special type of love a Grandchild brings .Just to hear the word Grandma evokes so much emotion from everyone I ask, How to be a Grandma. I have  changed my mind from seeking what I need to learn  and instead looking forward to the overwhelming joy being a Grandma instills in a person. No matter How you are a Grandma. The bonds between Grandmas and children have the ability to transform both children and adults. The stories and letters I have begun to collect have touched me deeply and hopefully a few of you have felt this too. So to answer the big question why did I start this Blog? It was to learn, and now why I will continue this Blog will be to feel. To feel all the love that being a Grandma evokes for me and all of you. Keep your stories and letters coming and go out and learn something today, just maybe you will be surprised at what you feel.


” It’s a Trust unlike any Other in Your Life”

Submitted by Glenn Harris Jr. :
According to legend, I named my grandmother Phyllis “Fifi” when I was a young child… just because Phyllis “was too hard to pronounce”. The same went for my other late grandmother Geraldine…she became “Gigi”. Since then, they both all but filed for an official name change with the US government. To this day, everyone we know calls them “Fifi” and “Gigi”. I must have made this decree no older than the age of 5, and it probably took me no more than 5 seconds to rationalize in my young head.
Nevertheless, both of these grown women adopted this dramatic life change with no hesitation. I believe at one point I even heard “Gigi” tell a doctor very late in her life, that her name was in fact “Gigi”, during a grave health situation. The best thing I can say, is that is the nature of the relationship with your grandmothers. It’s a trust unlike any others in your life. A friendship you never question.
I was blessed incredibly well when it came time to hand out family, and there is no better indication of that than Fifi, who has always encouraged me that if I’m having too much fun….have some more fun. 
photo (2)

Pure Grandma Joy

Submitted by Manola Harris Sagarminiga :My first Grandson,and I  tell you my experience was so emotional  Icried when I held him for the firts time he was so beautiful and he was stareing at me, and just embrace that moment and hold him tight and love him kiss him or her and be the best grandma can be I  will learn with time My fist 5 minutes with my Takatsugu love at first sight


” Lead by example on how to be Respectful “

Sue G. Submitted :Always tell them you love them. Give them plenty of hugs and kisses.
Don’t say NO all time; let them be kids and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Remember a little dirt is good for everyone. Lead by example on how
to be respectful and have good manors. Most of all, take them to church
with you and teach them about God and how to love one another.Image

“She’s seen me through the best and hardest times of My life and Hers”

Submitted by Mary Beth Myers (Soon to be Mary Beth Muscarella) My grandma is a very special person. She’s not just my grandma, she’s my confidant, my advisor, and one of my closest friends. Growing up my grandma and I were close. She taught me to love reading, art and musicals. Her remedy for sick days was always cuddling in her bed while watching The Sound of Music. She would hum along to every song and every time if would feel better wrapped in her arms.

When my mom passed away six years ago I clung to my family, but most of all I clung to my grandma and she clung to me. She knew what it was to lose a mother, she lost hers when she was 12 years old. I would not be where I am nor who I am without this woman’s presence in my short 25 years of life. I certainly would still be curled up in my mom’s bed crying if she hadn’t rescued me. Needless to say she’s seen me through the best and hardest times of my life and I hers. She’s the first one I call with good and bad news.

She’s literally the best advice giver; some of her most famous lines of advice, “Always find a place in your heart for forgiveness”, “never go to the bathroom outside unless you’re waste high in water,” “never fake a laugh,” “always listen first and then speak,” “and think before you do speak,” “everyone deserves respect and love,” and my personal favorite, “too much cleavage makes you a tease.”

I was so excited to introduce her to my James, and even more thrilled when I called to tell her we were engaged! She told me that she knew I was loved in the best way because he looked at me the way she used to look at my Papa. She’s one of two people I allow to use my full name; she’s usually uses it when I’m sassing her. I could go on and on because she is just that special. She’s lived so much in her 88 years, seen it all and yet she yearns for more; always learning and always listening to knew stories, beliefs, and opinions. She’s more than a role model, I guess she’s my idol. I love nothing more than hearing her laugh and really it’s a giggle. She’s my gma, my wise compadre, and my heart




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