Sunday, April 24, 2016

“My Grandma Angel”

Lisa DeLaby is Director of the Office of Institutional Advancement and Butte College Foundation, but the Oroville resident is also a mother of five.

Amidst the joys of family life loss and grief can come without warning, and parents must decide how best to comfort young children. Books can play a significant role in helping kids verbalize their loss and direct their imagination more positively.

“My Grandma Angel” ($17.99 in paperback from AuthorHouse; also for Amazon Kindle) by Lisa Rhoads DeLaby, illustrated by Dan Drewes, is a tender story based on LeLaby’s own experience. Told by a young girl, it begins in tears.

“My grandma died suddenly,” she says on the first page. “I didn’t even get a chance to say good-bye. She wasn’t sick, so I don’t know why she had to die and go to heaven.”

Then, “When I cried and told my mom I missed my grandma, she said it’s normal to feel really sad and cry when we lose someone we love. Mom gave me a big bear hug, squeezing me almost as hard as Grandma used to. It made me feel much better.”

Memories rush in, cooking and going to the movies.

There is something more. “The truth is, my grandma can now do things that she never could before. That’s because now she’s a special angel. I like to call her my Grandma Angel. My Grandma Angel can visit me in my dreams, now that she is in heaven.” And “she has all sorts of special powers.”

That cooling breeze? “That’s my Grandma Angel fanning me with one of her wings.” Rainbows are her way of saying hello. “During the day, I bet my grandma is doing good things to help others. She could be on a spy mission, saving the planet from harm, helping the Tooth Fairy, or sewing in Santa’s workshop with the elves.”

It’s the stuff of dreams, and in those dreams “Grandma and I can travel together anywhere….” “I’m happy that my Grandma Angel will always be in my heart and my dreams.” A series of questions on the last page asks about the reader’s own special angel.

Is that a smile I see?

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