Tag Archives: challenging

Jewelry is not always a girl’s best friend!

Just before my daughter deployed she gave my granddaughters necklaces with her picture inside the heart locket. She told her daughters that they could look at her everyday when she was away by opening up the locket.They cherished the necklaces and wore the necklaces everyday. They were so careful removing the necklace before getting into their bath water. But children are children and things happen.

The first incident occurred a few weeks staying with us. My youngest granddaughter Bailey, was upstairs playing  in her room after school.  I heard her give out a blood curdling scream and began crying. I ran upstairs to see what had happened and she was hysterically crying while burying her face into her hands. I asked her what happened and she looked up at me with tears running down her face she said “ I have killed mommy!”

She then showed me that her necklace with the locket, when she opened the picture of her mother’s  face was rubbed off. She continued to cry. I told her not to worry, that we could find another picture and  replace the picture she had. She slowly stopped crying.  I reassured her that what happened to the picture had nothing to do with her mother. That she had not kill her mother. I told her we had lots of pictures in our computer and grandpa would  make a new picture for her locket.  Bailey stood right next to my husband. He was seated in front of his computer and she watched his every move.  He  then  printed the picture, and begun  cutting it out to fit inside the locket. He placed the new picture into the locket and Bailey smiled and said thank you.

The second incident happened about a month later ,when Ivie the eldest granddaughter was at school. Somehow she did not clasp the necklace correctly when she up it on in the morning. While playing on the basket ball court at recess she suddenly realized the necklace was  tucked inside of her shirt but the locket was missing. She began to cry. Ivie’s teacher realized how upset Ivie was. Recess was over, but she allowed Ivie and her friends retrace Ivie’s steps. Ivies’ teacher Miss Neff knew that this necklace was more that an ordinary necklace, that her mother gave it prior to deployment, and it was  symbol of their love and connection. After carefully retracing Ivie’s steps it was a miracle but  they found the locket. When I went to walk the Ivie and Bailey home from school that day, Ivies’ teacher shared with me what happened with the necklace. I thanked Miss Neff for helping Ivie and for being so understanding.

And that night Ivie and Bailey informed me that they decided to leave the necklaces at home. They were afraid something would happen to and  I agreed. They laid the necklaces on their dresser. They would look at  their necklaces every morning and night before bed.

So when picking out an item of remembrance, sometimes jewelry is not a girls best friend.

Deployed Grandparents

I am a working empty nester grandmother that became a care giver to her granddaughters, when our USAF daughter was deployed to Afghanistan. The children had to adjust to a non military lifestyle and moving to our home in another state. My role changed from being a grandmother to an acting parent with all the responsibilities. Our daughter faced the separation and feeling of disconnection of her role as a mother. We faced many challenges, and gained a greater understanding of what military families face when their love ones are deployed. We did not know when our daughter returned, how challenging it would be to reconnect her to her children and her old lifestyle, even though she did not experience trauma. I have written a book soon to be published book “Deployed Grandparents being Parents”, my personal journey during this time. Hoping this will help others that are care giving children. Even though our daughter has returned we face the possibility of future deployments, so our journey will continue..

Debbie Nichols