BlogLoving Grandma and Her Knitting

May 5, 2024by Frank Love0

Loving Grandma and Her Knitting

How a memory technique helps me bring patience to my interactions with others.


In my previous blog, “Raising Responsible Children“, One Chore at a Time,” I will discuss the long-term value of giving our kids chores around the house.

Do you ever find yourself irritated when someone gets long-winded, off topic, or is simply wrong when they are talking? I do. Do you ever find yourself exasperated by someone else’s style or volume when they are speaking? I absolutely do. Do you ever get annoyed with someone talking over you or cutting you off while you are speaking? I definitely do.

By no means am I suggesting that people talking over others or being long-winded, off topic, wrong, or loud are dislikeable or that these are “bad” forms of connecting and communicating with another person. But it is safe to say they are not optimal, and I work to avoid doing any of them.

However, they do happen, and my responses to those occurrences are indicators of the depth of my patience, not how wrong my partner in the conversation is. If you are ahead of me in being patient, please help me along my journey and let’s create a more patient and loving world. If you are not already ahead of me with the level of patience I am advocating, I hope I can convince you to join me on my patience journey.

A High School Lesson in Patience

In two months, it will be thirty-five years since I graduated from high school. The following story happened before that.

In what I vaguely remember to be my ninth-grade year of high school, I took Ms. Dennis’s health class. Ms. Dennis was quite a teacher. The way she managed to mix being stern, knowledgeable, and comedic remains a puzzle to me. But she did so.

I am pretty sure that if Ms. Dennis were asked about the important and impactful lessons she imparted on me and the rest of my class—or other ninth-grade classes she taught over the years—what I am about to share would never come up. It is amazing how certain lessons, seemingly obscure to many or even to me at the time, rear their heads decades later.

One day in class, Ms. Dennis was discussing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. To drive her point home, she began to tell us about her grandmother, who was dealing with a form of dementia. She noted that she and the rest of her family knew it was important to keep her grandmother busy. Grandma liked to knit or crochet, so even though she was not able to remember people and events the way she used to, her muscle memory still allowed her to practice her needlepoint skills.

Showing Kindness and Patience for Loved Ones

Ms. Dennis told us that Grandma would knit a blanket, sweater, or whatever. Once Grandma finished a piece of clothing, Ms. Dennis or another family member would unravel the garment, reducing Grandma’s effort back to a roll of yarn. Then they would politely hand grandma the yarn to begin the project again. It was a routine. It was a way of showing care. The family did not roll their eyes in irritation because they had to put up with Grandma or her need to stay busy. And they weren’t irritated with the regular effort required to unroll another one of Grandma’s garments.


What powerfully stands out about this story is the love and patience the family showed Grandma. They were aware of Grandma’s health and memory challenge, and they patiently and lovingly included her in their daily dealings and routines. I love it. I remember it. And that was over thirty-five years ago. (Actually, it was almost forty years ago.)

A Memorable Model in Patience

What does Ms. Dennis’s story have to do with relationships? There are times when I may be feeling or acting impatient with someone, and somehow Ms. Dennis’s story pops into my head. When it does, my frustration lightens, my impatience dwindles, and my face relaxes. I appreciate having Ms. Dennis’s story in my mental database. It helps when I am dealing with my spouse, children, parents, or anyone else. Ms. Dennis and her family gave me a model of patience. One that I can and do use in my everyday life.


The difference between you and me when we are dealing with each other versus Ms. Dennis and her family is that Ms. Dennis’s family knew about Grandma’s health and memory challenge. Often we do not know (or act like we don’t know) what challenges the people in our life are dealing with. We are even further removed from that knowing when we are interacting with strangers. When we are not clear about the challenge(s) our partner is dealing with, we may feel that being patient with them is not as easy or as warranted. It is.

Practicing Patience With Our Partners

I recently published a blog, How We Listen Is Communication Too. It asks readers to hear our partner with a loving disposition. One that receives the person we are interacting with as though we are invested in caring for them and being caring in our dealings with them . . . all of the time. This can be considered an addendum to that blog.


Moving forward, let’s work to receive our partner with loving patience. Let’s allow ourselves (and others) to experience the gift of loving patience when connecting with them. Hopefully we will cultivate that reciprocal interaction in our many interactions to come. And that’s loving.

Keep Rising,


Frank Love


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Each week, Frank Love hosts Zoom support group meetings that assist women and men as we work to create a loving culture in our relationships. Calls occur from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST and can be accessed by visiting FrankWeeklyCall.com.

  • Tuesdays – Black Women: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships
  • Thursdays – Black Men: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships

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Frank Love coaches individuals who are in (or wish to be in) a relationship toward creating a loving culture in their family. He is also the author of Relationship Conversations You Don’t Want to Have (But Should Anyway) and 25 Ways to Be Loving. To schedule a free consultation, contact Frank at Frank@FrankLove.com.

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