There must be a special place in heaven for people who have raised their own children and then take on the job of raising their grandchildren as well.
Many grandparents will tell you that one of the great joys of having grandchildren is that you can love them, spoil them, then send them home. But what about having them all the time, being responsible for their meals, their schooling, their activities? It isn't easy and it's a job they hadn't planned on, but many grandparents take it on anyway, dealing with day to day issues with humor and love.
Friday's Journal-World featured Verner and Kathryn Newman, who are raising their 5-year-old granddaughter, Victoria. "It keeps you young," said Verner Newman, with a laugh, "but it hurts. It hurts trying to keep up. You get tired real quick."
It takes a lot of energy to keep up with a 5-year-old, but clearly, for the Newmans, it's time and energy well-spent.
The Newmans are part of a local support group for grandparents raising grandchildren. The state also is offering financial assistance to grandparents whose income is less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level. It's a good deal for the state, which otherwise would have to find foster homes for the children. And it's a wonderful deal for the children who get to remain in a home with loving grandparents.
It isn't easy, but most of these grandparents wouldn't have it any other way. As we said, there surely is a special place in heaven.