Dear Jo: Don’t Forget

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August 10, 3 years A.B. (after-baby)

Dear Jo,

It has been a few months since you last visited Grandma Bisset. You didn’t mean for so much time to go by. But it was summer, you got busy, plus the whole absence seizure thing. Your mind had been elsewhere and before you knew it, Carol Ann was “reminding” Paul that he hadn’t been to see his grandmother in the assisted living center for a few months.

So there you were, out of family obligation. Okay, that sounds bad. Yes, it was obligation to appease Carol Ann, but you really did feel bad for not spending more time with Grandma. You just didn’t realize that the time would also be spent with your mother-in-law.

Dear Jo: Don't Forget

You gently knocked on Grandma Bisset’s door, expecting to hear her delayed response welcoming you to come in. Instead, the doorknob turned and standing there was Carol Ann.

“Hey, Mom,” Paul said, as he leaned in to kiss his mother’s cheek.

You looked at him and mouthed, “She’s here?” He simply shrugged and walked into the room.

You could tell right away that it wasn’t one of Grandma’s good days. Instead of a smile to welcome you, she looked at Paul and then looked away. No smile. No nod of recognition. When the kids came into her view, her eyes brightened and a smile began to form. She held out her arms to Emerson, hoping for a hug. But he sensed her mood. He clung to Cranky the Crane (who he has been sleeping with for the past few weeks, along with Bluey, of course) and grabbed ahold of your leg with his other arm.

“It’s okay, Emerson. Grandma just wants to say hi. How about a high-five?” He looked up at you. You nodded and encouraged him to step forward with you. “Hi, Grandma. Emerson’s being a bit shy today. How about a high five instead of a hug?”

She relented and held out her hand. He gave her a gentle tap.

“Another,” Grandma said.

Emerson tapped her hand again, this time with a  little more enthusiasm.

“Another,” Grandma said.

Emerson pulled back his arm a little further and clapped her hand.


Now he was getting into it. Emerson leaned back and began to swing.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” you, Paul and Carol Ann all called in a chorus.

“Buddy, be gentle,” Paul said.

He completed the high five without hurting Grandma and then he leaned in for a hug. Once satisfied, Grandma looked at Lyla and held out her arms. You knew what she wanted. You placed the baby in her arms and Grandma got lost, but in a different way than when you first walked into the room.

“What’s her name?” Grandma asked.


“How old is she?”

“Seven months old today.”

“Today? How precious. What’s her name?”

And so it went for a few minutes until Lyla grabbed ahold of Grandma’s index finger and they got lost in each other’s eyes.

You sat down on the bed beside Carol Ann who immediately began, “I haven’t heard anything from you. Surely you’ve gotten the results by now.”

“Mom, you know we’d call you if we’d heard anything, but we haven’t yet,” Paul answered.

“You’re telling  me that it has been, what, three or four weeks now and you still don’t know anything? I hope you’ve been calling your doctor every day.”

“His test was about two weeks ago. We know he will call when he has something to tell us.”

“Anyway,” you said, “isn’t no news good news?”

“Not when it comes to my grandkids and their health,” she snapped. “What’s your doctor’s name? Maybe I’ll give him a call.”

“Mom, trust us, okay. We’re handling it. Anyway, you can’t just call up a doctor and expect him to give you confidential information.”

“Well…,” she crossed her arms and looked away. “So, how has he been lately? Has he been doing more of those…what do you call them…spells?”

“He hasn’t had one for probably a month now,” you said.

“Maybe he’s having them and you just haven’t noticed.”

“Or maybe he’s better,” Paul said.

“Well, you should really….”

“You should shut up.” A new voice joined the conversation. You all looked at Grandma who continued to cradle Lyla in her arms. Lyla still gripped Grandma’s index finger. Grandma didn’t look at the three of you. She continued to look at Lyla and said, “Shut up, Carol Ann. He’s better.” Then she looked at Emerson who was playing with Cranky the Crane at her feet. “Aren’t you? You’re better. Right?”

Emerson nodded to her. Then she held out her hand and he gave her another high five. He went back to playing. She returned to looking at the baby and then asked, “What is her name again?” But before you could answer she continued, “I remember when my kids were babies. I may not remember much, but I remember that. Those were the best years. Don’t forget them. Don’t ever forget them.”

Dear Jo: A {fictional} Diary of a Modern Mom

“Dear Jo: A Diary of a Modern Mom” is a serial fiction story written by Meagan Church. Stay tuned for the next diary entry of one mom’s attempt to chronicle what she has been told are the days she shouldn’t forget…spit-up, tantrums, milestones and all. Visit the Dear Jo page to catch up on the already-published entries. And, be sure to subscribe today, so you don’t miss a single installment:


Have you downloaded my free eBook “Motherhood Doesn’t Come with Sick Days…and other lessons from parenting”? Also, be sure to join the Unexpectant Facebook community today.

Motherhood Doesn't Come with Sick Days

{Photo credit: ©Maksim Shebeko –}





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