Linda Earnest of Brandon had to resort to using FaceTime to spend time with her grandson, Michael, who lives in Tallahassee, during the pandemic.

The positive influence that grandparents can have on their grandchildren’s lives is overwhelming. By offering love, guidance, wisdom, passing on traditions and making memories, grandparents can leave behind a legacy that their grandchildren will value for the rest of their lives.

The recent pandemic has made it difficult for grandparents and their grandchildren to see each other. Grandparents have to be more cautious about their health when it comes to spending time with their grandchildren.

An article on the AARP website (www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-2020/grandparents-anxiety-coronavirus.html) states, “The coronavirus pandemic has upended the daily lives of Americans, and for many of the country’s 70 million grandparents, contact with young grandchildren has been cut off. Older Americans have a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19, and children may be asymptomatic carriers. So intimate relationships have been frozen in time, leaving grandparents longing for a connection they once took for granted.”

The pandemic has forced grandparents to learn new technology to spend time with their grandchildren.

Linda Earnest of Brandon had to resort to using FaceTime to spend quality time with her grandson, Michael, who lives in Tallahassee.

“I FaceTime Michael, but it is not the same,” Earnest said. “Before Christmas, I asked him what he wanted. He told me I had already given him his gift when I retired. He could not wait until we moved to Tallahassee. He asks me how I am feeling, but I know he cannot fully understand why it is taking so long.”

Earnest listed her home for sale before the pandemic hit, but it has not sold as of yet. She and her husband, Eldon, hope it will sell soon so they can move closer to their daughter, Christina, and their grandson.

“We saw each other three times this summer,” Earnest said. “He usually spends several weeks with us and we do a lot of fun stuff. He and I wore our masks, but didn’t get to go anywhere. This virus is taking its toll on everyone, but I feel especially on the children who do not fully understand why they cannot do the activities they enjoyed or play with their friends.”

Earnest is thankful that she can FaceTime with her grandson, but she looks forward to the time they can spend together in person.

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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.