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Life in Baltimore: Grandmothers and great-grandmothers, a special bond

Brenda Bowe Johnson | 6/6/2016, 9 a.m.
They are known by many names, Nana, NiNi, MiMi, Grannie, Grams; whatever name you choose, they are grandmother.
(Left) Carol Foreman-Gray and her grandson Logan, (Right) Ginger Dean with her granddaughters Kori, Kaylin, Kamryn, Kortney and Kaliyah.

They are known by many names, Nana, NiNi, MiMi, Grannie, Grams; whatever name you choose, they are grandmother. As children, we do not fully realize the meaning of a grandmother’s love. However as we mature, looking back through older eyes grandmothers are seen as unconditional love, patience, devotion and family loyalty. A grandmother’s love is forever.

Great-Grandmother Peggy Jackson with her mother, three children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren

Great-Grandmother Peggy Jackson with her mother, three children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren

Virginia (Ginger) Dean is the proud mother of three adult children, Kia, Kymberli and Christopher. As a working mother, the children kept Ginger and husband Thomas very busy with their school and extracurricular activities. She is elated to say that all three of them have developed into caring, productive adults. Ginger's mother passed when she was eleven, and as a child she always desired to be a mother. "My three children have brought much joy and happiness into my life. However, becoming a grandmother has filled my heart even more," Ginger beamingly states.

She has been blessed with five healthy, beautiful and intelligent granddaughters, Kori, Kaylin, Kaliyah, Kortney, and Kamryn. At some point, all five of them have played basketball, soccer, and lacrosse and she has enjoyed attending their games.

"Have you ever looked at your grandchildren and had your heart filled with so much love and pride that it brought you to tears?" This is a quote that Ginger read on all grandmothers.com. Yes, her grandchildren have brought her to tears on many occasions such as making the dean's list, making honor roll, and being initiated into her undergraduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Kori, Kaylin, and Kaliyah are the fifth generation of her family to attend Morgan State University.

Anita Turks Hunter with her grandchildren Hunter, age 9; and Hope, age 7.

Anita Turks Hunter with her grandchildren Hunter, age 9; and Hope, age 7.

Anita Turks Hunter, loves her only child, Kaliq ,her son-in-law Joe, and of course, the two grandchildren— Hope, age 7; and Hunter, age 9. She realizes that she was a good mother and is well equipped to be a good grandmother. However, being a good mother apparently does not necessarily prepare you to be a good grandmother. The same tactics do not work. All in all she enjoys her grandchildren and hopes that she is here and healthy enough to become a great-grandmother.

Many young people today are sharing the love of a great-grandmother. Great-grandmothers have a special bond with the great-grandchildren. Just think, the great-grandmother holds our hands for a while, but our hearts forever. They are known for the happiness they have brought and the lessons they have taught.

Carol Foreman beams when speaking of her daughter, Chantae. She says that the best day of her life was the birth of Chantae. She has blessed Carol with four lovely grandchildren. The two oldest granddaughters are in college with one who just graduated. Carol proudly states that the grandchildren have brought joy and happiness to her life. To add to the joy, ten-week-old, great-grandson Logan is the center of the family. When her grandchildren say "you're the best grandmother in the world," Carol says it overwhelms her with joy. The grandchildren and great-grandson are the brightest lights in her heart.

"It doesn't seem as though I began this pilgrimage, the longest walk to adulthood, more than sixty years ago without clearly and vividly remembering my transformation throughout each step of the way," says Peggy Jackson. She believes stages of motherhood seem to overlap and intermingle, beginning with mother, then grandmother, now great-grandmother.