Monday, April 28, 2014

"For Me? Really?"

Ahh,  Mother's Day!

One year, my sisters and I accompanied daddy to the store to help him carefully select a plastic bread box. I was as puzzled as he was when, after a gracious display of gratitude in the presence of her children, mother firmly informed him, behind closed kitchen doors, that a bread box was an unsuitable Mother's Day gift and it was promptly going back to the store. I could never figure that one out. When I became a mommy, I was going to love everything my family gave me. Unconditionally. Utilitarian or not. Things were going to be different!

Despite protests of, "No, no! Save your money! I don't need anything!" from our grandmothers - both the "nice" one and the "unfriendly" one - we dutifully visited each, toting the obligatory rose bush on those annual, special days in May. The "nice one" invited us to the planting ceremony and never failed to point out thereafter how much joy our gift, thriving beneath her talented hand, gave her every day. That part was okay, but still, I wondered. Who on earth would ever say, "Don't buy me any gifts! I don't need anything!" When I became a grandma, things were going to be different! "Gimme, gimme, gimme! See here? - in this catalog? - I want this one, that one and two or three of those!" Yep, when I grew up I was going to "for sure" fix what was wrong with this family of mine!

I live a double bonus now. I'm a mother. And a grandmother. In my recent memory are gifts of cold toast and warm juice on a breakfast-in-bed tray, construction paper cards and a happy little trio of bright purple pansies peeking prettily from - oh no! please! not another! - ceramic mug. I loved it all. Unconditionally. Things were different - at least in that category.

But the "Please don't buy me anything" request? That one, I'm afraid, remains alive. I have all that I need today - hugs and snuggles from grandchildren and gratitude and love from their parents. I'm not going to refuse your bread box or (deliberately, at least) murder your rose bush, but I do revisit with fondness the grand-ladies who clearly made their wishes known so long ago. "Thank you anyway my dears, but I really don't need anything this year!"

Yet, despite my protests, I know that you will buy me something. And so this time I will make things easier for you by telling you exactly what I want.

I want to be remembered. Warmly. Intimately. Respectfully. Of course I want you to relive the fun we had together, but mostly I want you to know who I am. Where I grew up. What things I liked. What things I didn't like. And I want all of that written down in a book. This book.

Stories From My Grandparent flows from page to page in journal format, just waiting for the pen of its own author. Thoughtful prompts make the self-writing of one's personal history an enjoyable, not formidable, task. From early memories at home, ("This is what I've been told about myself as a baby:") through school years, ("These hairstyles and clothing styles were popular with girls:") and beyond, ("As a young family, we struggled with these problems and issues:") this hard cover, spiral bound volume unfolds as the life journey of one very special person. And that person is likely to be someone who "really doesn't need anything" for Mother's Day this year. Except, perhaps, a place like this to come to and relive experiences of the past, knowing that someday those who adore her will relish the words and photos she chose to share from the first page to the last. On that one, number 109, just beyond an entry for "Here is one last bit of advice:" they will find a final message, one tender and touching and so very, very grandmotherly in its perfection - one well worth circling and "smiley-facing"......

"And always remember: I love you!"

Susan Adcox, the author of Stories From My Grandparent is a former English and journalism teacher with a degree in literature from the University of Houston - Clear Lake. For more than five years she has been the Guide to Grandparents on, where she writes about topics ranging from grandparents' rights to board games for kids. She and her husband have three children and seven grandchildren.

Find further details and Amazon ordering information here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Love the rose bush idea (Boy gave me one for Mother's Day years back and I am still in love with it). Love the book!

  2. I can so relate to that!!!! I love getting plants for Mother's Day! This was a fun piece and I DO have one of those books (that the kids gave me for Mother's Day-hahahaha) sitting on my shelf without a word written in it. Guess I better get busy- lol xo Diana

  3. It took years and years for me to finally learn that "Don't get me anything this year" is really a test...a test which I failed several times but will never fail again!

  4. NO ONE would take me SERIOUSLY last year when I told them that I wanted DIRT!! And I did. I wanted them to go get the garden bed dirt and lug it to and from etc so that I didn't have to.
    Guess who got hanging baskets, though they were quite pretty, and who lugged the dirt to and fro.
    See, men don't 'listen' lol ...

  5. This was such a precious post and made me smile :) Happy Monday to you. Hugs!

  6. love your blog....I love spending time with my grandkids....
    I just finished posting about a cruise with my 2 granddaughters, hope you will stop by!

  7. It is a wonderful book! It in encompasses so much more than just your family tree! Kids need to hear about the way life was for us! I would give anything to have a book like this from either of my Grandmothers.

  8. Thank you for the review, it sounds really interesting and it sounds like a great idea to me. I am sure it wouldn't take you long to fill up the journal too! :) It's so important for grandchildren to learn everything about their grandparents, I really wish I knew more about mine. :)

  9. You have no idea how I wish I had something like that from my own grandparents. Even my own parents. What a beautiful gift you are giving those you love and who love you! And re: the statue, I believe it's Saint Rita of Cascia. I have soooo many religious prints, art objects, and statues that I know things will be changed quite a few times before I decide on the 'final' decor (if there is such a thing!). Have a great week!!!

  10. What a lovely book. There is one that I also like - For My Children's Children - by Bob Greene. He and his sister made lists of questions and there are spaces in the book to answer the questions - very similar to the ones in the book you mentioned. I just ordered enough copies for each of our children and in-laws. It is our 50th anniversary in September and we are taking them all out for dinner and then I'm giving each person one of those books - and each family will receive a framed portrait of us all, the last time we were all together. I can't wait - it is killing me to keep the secret - even Don doesn't know about it. We got the first book from Don's aunt years ago - and my plan is for each person to fill out the books for their children's children.

  11. Susan has created a lovely heirloom book and your review is spot on! I would have been so happy to receive such a book — completed! — by my maternal (or paternal, I suppose) grandmothers. Now it's up to us to provide such for our grandkiddos. Thank you to Susan for the tool and inspiration, and to you for sharing!

  12. This is so beautiful and you did a nice review. I know I would enjoy this book, too! Enjoy your week my friend. Hugs!

  13. That book is wonderful. I did that for all of my grandchildren and still have them. I thought I'd wait until they were older and a little more settled where they would really appreciate the book. Nice review. I am new to your blog and your newest follower.


  14. Your mom reminds me of mine! It became a joke between my brother and I when we were little because for every single Christmas, mom's birthday, and Mother's Day, our dad would take us to the store and help us pick out a gift (and he'd pretty much steer us towards something he chose that he thought she wanted), we'd give it to our mom, and she'd return it to the store because she thought it was dumb. When we got old enough to get our own gifts for her, we would challenge ourselves to get something she wouldn't (or couldn't) return... usually something we made, or a gift certificate of some sort. Once I got her a shamrock plant. Actually, I might order this book for my mom for Mother's Day... my nephew is turning 1 this month and is her first grandchild!

  15. Yes, that's what every grandma wants - to be remembered, to have a history. I did love the bread box story because one year my husband bought me a log rack for Christmas but he forgot that we had gas logs installed earlier in the year. LOL We still laugh about the log rack.

  16. Lovely, inspiring post, and a great idea for the future.

  17. Joyce, I enjoyed this trip down Mother's Day memory lane! :) Stories From My Grandparent sounds like something that everyone in a family would enjoy- a one of a kind keepsake.

    Your post reminded me of being in 1st grade, and we were making Mother's Day gifts for our moms....we were pasting pictures of flowers on glass bottles, and the bottles had special stoppers on top....the bottles were to be used for sprinkling clothes while ironing. Ugh, that's even worse than a bread box, LOL!

    Thank you for sharing this with us at Treasure Box Tuesday!

  18. I loved this post. I only have one living Grandma. My Grandma... oh she's a tough one. I bought her a bouquet of roses one Mother's Day, and she hated them. "I'm not dead! Flowers are for funerals and cemeteries..." *Sigh*

    This year I got her a candle warmer and a wax tart for it + a card. She loved it. My boys and my nephew got my mom a card & a bouquet of mixed flowers, she loved it. & Sadly, My mom got the... "Hey, I forgot to go buy your gift. This is what you're getting because that's what you want. & A card" (From my sister and myself). She asked for a blanket set or something. My sister is picking it up. lol

    This grandparent book, I think I might add it to my Mom's christmas list (from the grandbabies). She would love that. Wonder if I should get her a copy for each grandchild (3) ???

    Ila from HeHasMS