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Grandmas Connect on Zoom

We are all suffering in some way during this Coronavirus pandemic. But for many of us grandmas, it’s especially painful not to be able to hug our grandchildren. Some grandmas have had to make difficult decisions because of the higher health risks for our demographics.

We talked about those hardships recently during our first GaGa Sisterhood Zoom meeting. For the past 17 years, our GaGa Sisterhood meetings have always been in-person. But because of the new requirements to stay home, I decided to host a meeting on Zoom so we could “get together” and just talk about how this new reality is affecting us.

The experience was satisfying on so many levels. I plan to do it again because we need to stay connected. It was exciting to see each other; it was emotional to hear the challenges we’re facing; it was joyful to laugh together and it was comforting to share our feelings and know that everyone could relate.

I began by congratulating one of our members who was able to be with her daughter on Zoom and watch her give birth to a son. On that same day, this grandma had to put her mom in hospice care – truly the circle of life.

Another grandma told us she was wracked with guilt because her daughter wanted her to move in with her and help take care of her two toddlers. But she had to say no. We all reassured her she’d made the right decision. One GaGa comforted her by reminding her that if she got sick, her daughter would be the one feeling guilty.

Another member who normally shares a home with her children and grandchildren moved to her vacation condo rather than risk exposing herself to them. She reached out to the grandma who said no to her daughter and reminded her how important it is to take care of ourselves first – especially if we’re living alone.

Several grandmas who are regular caregivers for their grandchildren have had to step away from that role. Now they have regular FaceTime contact instead. Many celebrations will have to be postponed — birthday parties, retirement parties and anniversary parties.

Isolation is another issue we addressed because so many of us live alone. I’ve never felt this lonely in my whole life. After my husband died in September 2018, I felt lonely but I met with a grief counselor every week and attended grief support meetings. I could also be with my family and friends when I got lonely. The comfort I found being with others helped me get through the first year. But now I don’t have that luxury and it’s taking a toll on my soul. I’m grateful for technology — Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom all help make connections possible. Seeing my granddaughters’ faces fills my heart with joy but it can’t replace the pleasure of a great big hug.

How are you coping during these challenging times? What are you missing the most? Have you discovered any blessings? Share your answers in the comment box below.

 

4 thoughts on “Grandmas Connect on Zoom”

  1. My wife and I have 4 kids and 1 grandchild – with another on the way 🙂 We are using Zoom to connect as a group twice a week and have even played Trivia remotely. On the positive side we’ve have never gotten together as a group so often and I think we may continue this after this is all over! On the negative side of course is the lack of personal contact. We also sent a gift to our grandchild from doozynest.com that was well received.

  2. Because I live next door to my daughter and my Sacramento daughter came down to shelter because she cannot afford to run her home w/out her swim school income, we are sheltering with 13: 4 adults;ts, 9 kids and 3 STD Poodles.We all have child development degrees, have an orderly home schooling session daily and are creative with keeping all safe. Being HMB natives, we know where kids can surf completely alone, we have a gym, pool and walking the dogs in empty streets makes us very grateful of where we are. We also do an individual check in with each child weekly…their goals, their strengths and weaknesses in living with each other, how to communicate in a positive way, what chores to do, what privileges etc. We have 260 employees to worry about as well. So far, we are keeping 20 main employees going and all furloughed and working employees have their health insurance. We even doled out $100 Safeway cards the first week until unemployment kicked in. We have a POD Facebook for sharing, supporting, laughing etc. It have been very active.

    1. Dante Drummond

      Wow Irene! You and your family are amazing!!

      I am enjoying a stress-free environment because i cannot work very much. It’s a different life-style than my two out-of-state daughters who are home from work and with children all day. I am more in touch with family members now than ever before. Tomorrow I have FIVE Zoom meetings and I feel that it is excessive. I will have to figure out my priorities so I don’t repeat my habit of always doing too much.

      Thank you Donne for keeping us connected and informed.

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