Grandparents: Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them—And Hope I Never Have To
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Grandparents: Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them—And Hope I Never Have To

A day in the life with Shelba and Dempsey.

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Grandparents: Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them—And Hope I Never Have To
Amy M. Monte

My grandparents are the kindest, most caring, and most giving individuals, but they can also rattle my nerves and patience more than anyone on this planet. With that being said, I am over there constantly simply lounging around on their sofa and chatting with them or calling them from school just to "check" on them. They are truly my rocks and I’m so blessed to have them in my life; however, there are days they could make my hair fall out.

For example, I arrived home on Friday night for my Christmas break ready to kick back, relax, and gear up for Christmas, yet Saturday morning I found out my mother and grandmother had different plans in mind. I was informed I was in charge of finishing my grandmother's Christmas shopping. I love shopping and would have been just fine with shopping alone to finish up Shelba's shopping, but oh no, Shelba decided she wanted to come along and "help" me. Our first adventure included the car ride on the way there. Though I'm not the best driver, I have been driving for four years now, so I feel that I know to some extent what I'm doing. However, I'm positive Shelba does not see it that way. She reluctantly handed her keys over and then directed my driving all the way to our destination. My nerves and patience were already shot, but I just smiled and nodded each time she screamed, "Madison, watch out!" Yes, Grandma I see the car. Yes, Grandma I am already in the turn lane. Yes, Grandma I am already braking in preparation to stop at the stop light two miles ahead. We finally arrived and walked into Shelba's beloved Belk Tyler. My grandmother and I go way back on our Belk Tyler trips. She used to take Malone and myself when we were just little tots to her favorite shopping store. Well, actually I should be honest here, we only went with her one time and it was years before she would let us go again with her. Apparently it is frowned upon for your grandchildren to hide inside the racks, pull all the tags from the garments and knock over an entire display. Evidently, Papa Dempsey saw us as the display was going down, but since it was too late to prevent it -he just walked out of the store as if he didn’t know us! But I digress, so back to my present trip. Shelba and I spent three hours in Belk (in Kinston I might add) going through each and every clothing rack and item Belk has to offer. (Do not worry, this time I refrained from crawling inside the racks!) While she deliberated over each and every gift, I would assure her over and over again that this was the PERFECT gift for so and so, yet she wasn't sure, so we would place it back and start our trek around the store again. Not only did I make countless trips around the store (I definitely hit my Fitbit (goal step), each time we did decide on a gift we had to pay for it right then. Waiting until we were finished completely shopping was not an option. I preceded to follow her to the register and stood tapping my foot waiting while Mama Shel asked how much each piece was, checked to make sure the sale price was accurate, did the particular coupon work, and watched as she signed her name "Mrs. Dempsey Hill" after swiping her Belk card in order to get her Belk points. Bless is all I can say. Once we finally finished and were on the way home, PRAISE, my mom calls and says, "I'm over here decorating your grandparents' tree. You are in charge of supper tonight for everyone." Everyone means everyone in my family, not just our household...perks of having a large family right on top of one another! Welp...Filling Station it is! After we dropped everyone's food to their particular destinations, back to grandmas I go to help Smeggs finish the tree. While we are over there decorating, we thought it would be a smart idea to install the new TV all the children got Shelba for her birthday seeing as all their TVs are malfunctioning and poor Dempsey is watching the Carolina game standing up in the kitchen on top of the small TV with his eyes 6 inches from the screen in order to see it. Shelba begins to look for the TV and declares it has been stolen. "I remember wanting to move it, but I don't think I did." Let me just also say Shelba's Birthday was November 4th. I'm sure if someone was to rob a house, they wouldn't only take one TV! The hunt began for that blessed TV. We searched Grandma’s entire house, the barns behind her house, Matthew's old house and also came to the conclusion that yes, it had been stolen. On a whim, we decided to text Matthew to see if perhaps he had taken the TV to his house in Deep Run to program it. Well, as usual, we call and text Matthew for thirty minutes and he didn't respond until we told him we were calling the police. Alas, his response confirmed he had taken the TV without telling a soul. You could collectively hear the sigh escape from each of our lips. Later that night as we were preparing to leave, Dempsey was asking my momma how to turn the candles in their windows off so he could shut the curtains. She said, "Daddy, just leave them on and keep the curtains open. It will look weird if you cut only some off while others are on." Dempsey insists he cannot sleep in the house if any of the windows are left open for people to see inside. Shelba interjects herself in the conversation, as she always does, and says, "Dempsey having the curtains closed or open is not going to stop someone from breaking in." His response is the reason I love him, "Having the curtains closed will stop them because they don't know what is behind the closed curtains." We all laughed and Mom went to help Papa close the curtains without breaking her candles.

My grandparents can drive me crazy, but I know one day I will miss driving Shelba around and having her direct my driving. I know I will one day miss my Papa's ludicrous responses and reasons for why he does the things he does. I will miss being able to walk through their doors and hear Mama Shel say, "What do you want me to “fix” for you to eat?" I will just miss them in general with every fiber of my being. They are a major part of the reason I am the person I am today. I thank God daily for blessing me with such wonderful people. I would rather live with their crazy selves than not be able to have them at all.

God has blessed me with two amazing sets of grandparents. My hope for each and every one of you is that you thank your grandparents and all those who love and take care of you this Holiday season and realize how blessed you are to have them in your life.

“If you’re lucky enough to still have grandparents, visit them, cherish them, and celebrate them while you can.”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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