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Dear Grandmother in the store at Target today

Dear Grandmother in the store at Target today,
I heard you say to your grandson in the dish soap aisle, “Stop asking me questions.”
You were irritated. I could tell by the expression on your face and the tone of your voice.


I walked past you.

A few minutes later we were in another aisle together, your grandson pushing the cart and you looking for something. I went around the corner, maybe you didn’t think I could hear you, but I did.

You said to him, “You are irritating me. I wish you weren’t here.”
Then you walked around the corner and saw me.
I pushed my cart straight down the aisle, you were at the end of it.
You knew I heard you. We kept eye contact as I walked towards you.

“How special you get to spend time with your grandson,” I said.

“I see him every day. He is a handful.”

“The words you say to him, will encourage him and let him know he is loved.”

“I had to pick him up from school early.”

“You are so fortunate. My mother lives in Canada and she didn’t get to see my children grow up. Your words will make a difference in how he feels about himself. You get to give him kind words.”

Then I walked away. I heard her say, in a kinder voice, “Come here, sweetie.”

May no child ever feel unloved.

Words can heal and words can wound.


Hi Mom,
I love you.
You are a wonderful grandmother.
I wish we lived closer.
You are to my children the grandmother I wish I had.
Love your kid.

Please click here to comment. I love to hear from you.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Marie Therese

    Perhaps the grandmother was simply overworked and was tired and weary. Some parents expect a lot from grandparents which which can ruin quality time with the grandchildren. Marie Therese

  • La McCoy

    Sometmes we just forget what is important

  • Claudia

    We don’t know anything about this grandmother, Pamela. We don’t know how old she is. We don’t know if she has mental health issues. We don’t know if she wants to be babysitting her grandson. We don’t know why this grandmother sees this little boy as a handful and we certainly don’t know anything about this child’s parents. We don’t know if this woman has access to adequate mental health services and community supports for older adults. I’m sure we can all agree that the grandmother’s comment – “You are irritating me. I wish you weren’t here.” – is just awful but the reality for many older adults is inadequate mental health services and community supports.

    • JJMork

      Hi — I think it’s ok to offer kind and respectful guidance no matter the intended receiver’s background or story. I think I would actually *like* someone to offer me this kind of reminder about 600 times a day, as I care for my 6 year old son, (try to) relate to my husband, and wrestle with my self-esteem. If only all of us offered each other this kind of gentle encouragement.

  • Elsie

    I’m so glad you said something to this grandma! Perhaps she will appreciate the fact she gets to be with her grandchild. I hope she remembers your words the next time she wants to spit something awful to him. Well done!

    • Hi Elsie,
      Thankfully the grandmother was able to hear how fortunate she was. Walking a fine line at Target between not minding my own business and trying to speak encouragement.
      Did you see anything exciting on your walk today?

  • myowncalcuttablog.com

    Way to turn a horrible situation around with grace. You go, girl!

    • Loving with grace, and trying to show hope.

  • Jay Warner

    A kind word can make all the difference in the world. I think you made a difference for both the boy and his grandmother. I was lucky to grow up close to both sets of grandparents and they continue to be the driving forces in my life even though they have all passed on now. My own parents have not been the grandparents to my children I wish they could be.

    • Hello Jay,
      How special you grew up knowing both sets of grandparents. I didn’t know mine very well. It is always sad when people don’t love like we think they should. Then we get to love them the best we can.

  • EmFairley

    Good morning Pamela. Having been brought up by my Grandmother I can more than attest to their worth. And now I’m a grandmother myself, I aim to give the very same love to our little man.

    Love to you and your mom.
    Em xoxo

    • Hello Em,
      Congratulations on being a grandmother. The little man is so lucky to have you to love him.
      Sending you hugs

  • Mary Anne Wassem

    Good morning Pamela,
    My mother lived next door to us as my children grew up. When my kids walked to school they could say hi to Grandma every morning as they walked passed her kitchen window while she was having her coffee. I treasure those days when they were little. Now we live in Grandma’s house. My kids are in their early 20″s. I miss my mom very much. I was very lucky to have her so close.

    • Dear Mary Anne,
      Thank you for sharing a treasured memory. I can see your mom in the window. And now you stand in the same window. I will think of you and your mom today. The image you created will stay with me a long time.
      Sending you hugs today as you miss your mom.