JoAnn Wilson knows her grandchildren are more than special.
“They’re the greatest in the universe. I always tell them that.”
She’s talking about the Smith kids: Wilson Baron, 15; McKenna Elizabeth, 12; and Jackson Nicholas, 10.
They live just 3 1/2 hours away in Ohio with their parents, Michele and Martin, and visit their grandma several times a month.
They’re a blessing for her, even when they eat every single crumb of snack food in the house, she said with a laugh.
“It’s all good.”
When JoAnn’s husband Jack died, McKenna was inconsolable. The two had been very close. McKenna was his mother’s maiden name.
“I can’t cry anymore,” she told her grandmother. “I don’t have any tears left.”
“He idolized her and she did him. I think he liked her better than he did me,” Wilson said with a chuckle. “She’s the kindest little girl with a heart of gold. She wouldn’t say anything mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. She’s the perfect little girl.”
She’ll always remember when Jackson was born.
“Now, you don’t bring him around,” she told her daughter. “Two kids are enough. Don’t bring that baby around. I’m not watching him.
“But he wormed his way into my heart. He stays with me a lot in the summer.”
He has this nighttime ritual, she said.
“He likes to mix taco sauce and cheese sauce and put sour cream on top with a bowl of Scoops, and sit in the middle of the bed with his laptop computer and TV on.
“The next morning, he has the whole mess cleaned up. He is the dearest little boy.
“I can’t say enough about any of my grandchildren. They all have special qualities.
“Most grandmothers want you to take the kids and go home. But I’m stingy. I’ll tell Michele, ‘You have three kids. Let me take one.’
“They are absolutely the best grandchildren any grandmother could have. I thoroughly enjoy having them here. I miss them when they’re not here.
“I’m always bringing them into my conversations. I’m sure people get tired of me saying, ‘Let me tell you about what my grandkids did.’”
And what her children, twins Michele Smith and Michael Wilson, do, too.
Michael isn’t married but considers the Smith trio his own, she said. Living in Washington, D.C., he loves to have Wilson to fly in to see the Capitols play or McKenna to come see her idol Justin Bieber in concert or for Jackson to just “pack your clothes and come see me this weekend.”
Her grandchildren are special “in their own unique way,” she said.
Right now, she said she’s a nervous wreck getting everything ready for them when they visit next week for a while. The right snack foods are vital, she said. They get fruits and veggies at home.
“But if they want snack food, they have to come to Grandma’s,” she said.
She’s realized one piece of knowledge many grandparents share.
“If I could have had my grandchildren first, I would have. I dearly love my children and they’re very good to me. They call every day, sometimes twice a day.
“But my grandchildren are a special gift from God.”
You know how some grandparents say they love to spoil their grandkids but can’t wait to hand them over to their parents? Not JoAnn Wilson.
“I don’t ever want them to leave. I’d like to keep them all the time. But I guess their mom and dad won’t give them up,” she said with a chuckle.
“When they leave, I don’t want to wipe their fingerprints from the windows. I tell Michele she’s got three children and I have none. Would she like to trade? And she always says no.”
That’s part of the best thing about being a grandmother, she said.
“I look at my daughter and think, ‘She had that child.’ It’s such a special feeling. I can’t explain it.
“I would give my life for them. I’d give everything I have for them. I wish they could live here.
“I truly love them more than life itself. From my first look at them, I knew they were God’s miracle for me.
“It is the best feeling.”
Email Debra Minor Wilson at email@example.com.
JoAnn Wilson knows her grandchildren are more than special.
- Local News
Volunteers lend talents to upcoming Empty Bowls Luncheon
“We have plenty of bowls,” said Jeff Greenham, ceramics professor and the coordinator of Fairmont State University’s art department.
Sarah Sphon remains focused on community and helping others
Sarah Sphon’s two favorite things are community and helping others.
So when she and her family moved to Monongah in September 2012, she made sure to keep active in both.
5-year-old Christian Miller attempting to build normal life after multiple heart surgeries
Christian Miller was born with a broken heart.
He came into the world prematurely, when his mother, Jill, was just 30 weeks pregnant. Her water broke randomly in the middle of the night, most likely from an infection, the doctors told her.
Legislators busy until closing bell ends session
In Charleston, the final day of the legislative session came to a close at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, with the closing bell.
Legislators had until that bell to pass legislation, so that it can be put it before the governor for his signature.
Pothole repair expected to begin soon
Anyone who drives knows the poor condition most of the area’s roads are in.
But the pothole-ridden roadways aren’t just a problem in Marion County. And now the West Virginia Division of Highways is planning a multimillion-dollar effort to fix pothole damage across the state.
Ham, Bacon and Egg Show offers significant rewards
The Marion County Future Farmers of America held its 13th annual Francis Marion Ham, Bacon and Egg Show at the Marion County Technical Center Friday.
Dr. Larry Watson is the advisor for the program and an agricultural education teacher at the Marion County Technical Center.
UPS driver inducted into Circle of Honor
UPS driver Eric Falkenstein has been inducted into the Circle of Honor, a prestige earned by driving accident-free for 25 years.
This year, Falkenstein, of Fairmont, became one of four West Virginia UPS drivers inducted into the Circle of Honor. Falkenstein says he owes his accident-free driving to his training.
Make-A-Wish sending young cerebral palsy patient to Texas theme park
Even through 10 surgeries and countless doctor appointments during his 11 years of life, Malachi Parker has kept a smile on his face.
“When he would wake up after his surgeries, he would still be smiling,” Sue Godfrey, Malachi’s aunt, said.
‘Pretty exciting day’ coming at Legislature
The first session of the eighty-first West Virginia Legislature is finally winding down.
Legislators will be meeting for the final day of the regular session Saturday. The session will run until late into the night, with the session finally ending at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
State rocket teams in national competition
West Virginia students are currently working on rockets that could potentially take them into the top 100 teams across America as part of the 2014 Team America Rocketry Challenge.
Seven hundred teams in 48 states, Washington, D.C.. and the Virgin Islands, including teams from Morgantown, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Glenville, Chapmanville, Inwood, Weston, Farmington and Paw Paw, must build a model rocket that can travel 825 feet in the air and come back down again in 48-50 seconds.
- More Local News Headlines
- Volunteers lend talents to upcoming Empty Bowls Luncheon