As I think I may have mentioned, my kids lost both their grandmothers in 2011. It's been a bit rough on them. We prayed for the blow to be softened, and the Lord answered our prayers. About two years ago a very friendly person moved in down the street, a grandma who had no grandbabies to love. My kids adopted her. She adopted them.
Not that long ago, V wanted to go down to June's* house. I reminded her that it was a school day and V begged to be able to go read out loud to June, a thing she detests doing for me. "It makes her happy, Mom!" So I gave permission and V ran down. A couple of hours later I got a call from June telling me how she had gotten up that morning and wondered why she even bothered getting up every day. And then V came down and read to her. And it gave June such joy.
My kids still are a bit death obsessed. C told June that she loved her so much she would go to her funeral. June laughed, hugged her, and told her that she loved her too. V has told her how much she's going to miss her when she dies. L (my money-obsessed rude monkey) suggested that he'd be happy to have some of her money when she goes. (They have a long-standing joke where he teases "Give me all your money," and she laughs and swats him.) June lost her husband a few years ago and just lost her mom last month. She understands. She responds with love.
June comes by for holidays and birthdays. She made all of her kid friends in the neighborhood a fleece blanket for Christmas. She took the kids shopping to pick out the fabric and then had them help her. (They all wore them as capes on Christmas day as they visited around the neighborhood, even the big tough kids.) She gives them a piece of candy from her candy bowl each time they visit. (One piece, don't even try to take an extra!) She has them weed for her. She chews them out if they sass her, use bad language, or treat each other poorly. She takes them to the ballet, takes them grocery shopping with her, and just spices up their lives in general. Like a grandma.
We needed a grandma and the Lord gave us June who as it turns out needed us too, and strangers turned into family. It's a tender mercy that boarders on miraculous to me that the Lord chose to bless all of us in the same move.
*Name has been changed to protect her privacy.