A Grandparent's Love

Rebecca Toal by Rebecca Toal Additional Needs

Rebecca Toal

Rebecca Toal

Blessed, busy mum to four beautiful girls, the youngest with complex special needs due to extreme prematurity. We are always looking for ways to ma...

A Grandparent's Love

My in-laws visited this morning. We had a chilled brunch together and Granda did his usual duty (which he is very happy to and insists on) of PEG-feeding Brielle, who is 10 and has never eaten anything much by mouth.

After all of us sitting around in the living room catching up and watching the racing, Brielle was restless so Granda took her outside and let her scoot about on her pink wiggle car, up and down the lane. She is FAR too big, too tall for it now, but still manages it somehow! Hoping to find her something bigger for big kids soon (as opposed to the toddler model!)

When they were back indoors; Brielle sufficiently exhausted from her exercise, she cuddled up nice and close to Granny and Granda on the couch. In fact, she was almost sandwiched in-between them. Looking back and forth between the two of them and studying their faces. Brielle is mostly blind so she likes to look nice and close and really study a face.

They would literally do anything for the girls I know.

Just looking at the three of them, in that moment, my heart was just moved. I felt so thankful for such loving grandparents. For all my girls. There’s such a special bond and love that exists between them.

My hubby and I have been able to leave for weekends away, and weeklong trips to the States (pre-COVID of course…it feels like we’re never going to travel again!), only because Granny and Granda so kindly stayed in our house to look after our 4 daughters, Brielle needing the most attention obviously.

They have slowly but surely learnt some sign language, have mastered Peg-feeding, assisted with her mobility and working her many pieces of equipment. Furthermore, they have all-around ALWAYS been there for us as parents, and for their grandchildren. It’s a selfless, unconditional love which I am so grateful for.

She was extremely sick and fragile and fought for her life for over 6 months in hospital.

Over 10 years ago, Granny flew into Seattle from Northern Ireland. I was 25 weeks pregnant and on bedrest in hospital. She was coming to mind our 3 older girls (who were 5 and under) so Ian could work and I could try to rest in hospital and praying baby would stay put and be ok. Little did we, or she, know, that the very next day Brielle would be born by emergency caesarean, weighing in a 1lb 13oz. She was extremely sick and fragile and fought for her life for over 6 months in hospital.

Granny was there for our girls. She has been there for our family, for Brielle’s first 3 weeks and has continued to be there, supporting and loving. Thank God for Grandparents - there is nothing like them.


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