Advisory Board – Cameron Miller

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Cami is the kind of friend you know you knew before you came to Earth.  She is not only a beautiful person on the outside but her inner beauty radiates.  She is intelligent, fun, creative and the epitome of the perfect wife, homemaker and mother.  My friends and I have nicknamed her “Doris Day” because she is just so cheerful and wholesome.  For my birthday I always request that she simply sings to me on my voice mail.  She has a beautiful voice.  I asked her to share some advice on step-grandparenting as well as memories of Grandmothers in her life.

“I am so blessed to be a grandma! I received the privilege a little over two years ago when my oldest stepson and his wife had their first baby. That little boy has brought much joy into our lives, and they have since had another sweet boy that we equally adore. I guess technically, for now, I am a step grandma and although I don’t like to use the word “step”, it reminds me not to “step” on any toes. Because of the dynamics of a blended family I try to be mindful of the feelings of the biological grandparents. It has been a gift to have a stepson and daughter-in-law that have addressed me as grandma from the moment they learned they were expecting. They have welcomed and encouraged me to be involved in their children’s lives and to be their grandma in every way. I know in some blended families the situation can be very different, so I am grateful for this wonderful blessing.

 As my husband and I in our middle years are enjoying the rewarding experience, yet still meeting the demands of raising two young children of our own, it can be challenging to also be fully engaged in grand parenting. Sometimes my husband will go in one direction to attend an event for a grandchild and I will stay behind with our girls. We try in every way to be as supportive as we can. Sadly, our grandsons do not live as close as we would like, however, it does make the time we have with them that much more cherished.

 While growing up, I too lived a very long distance from my grandparents. Every summer was much anticipated as I looked forward to reuniting with them after a year of separation. I absolutely loved spending time with my grandmothers, although they each came from very different walks of life.

 My father’s mother was a faithful woman and lived very humbly. Up until I reached the age of six, while staying at her home, I became very familiar with a wonderful little building called the Outhouse! J I remember helping her gather eggs from the chicken coop and picking berries and flowers from her small garden. Thankfully she loved taking pictures and keeping family history books, which are priceless treasures to us now. She also LOVED to read and had the greatest books in a small corner of her home. I enjoyed looking through the picture books with her and dreaming of someday illustrating a book of my own. She had the best sense of humor! Once, at a family reunion, she looked around the yard and must have thought our activities were quite uneventful and quipped, “If we were a television show they would have changed the channel by now!” Grandma’s sweet laughter was music to my ears! While I was young, through a financial blessing, she and my grandfather were able to purchase a small, 2 bedroom, 1 bath modular home and place it on the property next to their earlier tiny house with no indoor plumbing. I remember this new home being a castle to my grandmother and I learned through her to appreciate all the little things in life and to look for miracles every day. We loved to gather in her new kitchen! She made the best fresh scrambled eggs, waffles and homemade raspberry syrup!

 My mother’s mother was a very elegant woman with a reverent soul. Her home had beautiful furnishings, a lovely fireplace and a finely tuned piano. I lover her master bath with plush carpeting and a big soaking tub that was so fun to play in after a long, hot summer day. She had a small, pink velvet swivel chair in her bathroom where I would sit and watch her style her hair and put on her makeup while we talked. That pink chair now sits in my girl’s bedroom and brings back such sweet memories. It was fun to sit by her in church because she always kept rolls of Smarties in her jacket pockets. To this day I make sure these same candies are in my church bag each week. J My favorite place in her house was definitely the kitchen! It was complete with a pink fridge, pink oven and speckled pink countertops!! I dreamed of having my own pink kitchen one day. (It’s still a dream, but I love my husband dearly.) My grandma’s meals were the highlight of our visits – rolls, green salad with homemade dressing, bottled peaches, turkey steaks and fresh corn off the cob. They far surpassed any dish at a 5-star restaurant. At Christmas time she would hand dip chocolates and create fudge and English toffee in that same loving kitchen and send them to all of her grandchildren. Her candy was definitely my favorite Christmas gift.

 I miss my grandmothers every day and I am grateful for their fine examples and the many things they taught me. I hope I can follow in their footsteps and create lasting memories with all of my grandchildren.”

So excited to have Cami a part of our advisory board and the wealth of knowledge she will bring as well as her individual experiences as a step-grandparent.

Michele

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