Nevertheless Pat Potter Persists – GRANDMAS FOR GOOD
BY DEBBY CARROLL
Grands Rising features grandparents working to make the world a better place. We found you through your Facebook group, Grandmas for Good (link https://www.facebook.com/grandmasforgood/
Q. We know you started it during the election campaign but you’ve kept it going with a revamped focus. What are the goals for the group?
A. After the election, I renamed the group, “Grandmas for Good” with an immediate goal of offering a safe place for members to share their feelings, opinions, and frustrations about the current administration. It’s been cathartic for many of us to express our views. Long-term I’m thinking about ways for members to volunteer to work with children in their local communities. (I’ll be glad to take suggestions).
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Q. Do you think grandparents have an obligation to leave some kind of legacy?
A. I’d say it’s more of a goal than an obligation. We are our grandchildren’s best cheerleaders. We love them unconditionally and give them the confidence to fulfill their dreams. If they carry that love and support with them throughout their lives, there’s nothing they can’t accomplish. My grown daughter says she feels her grandmother’s (my mother’s) presence in her life every day, encouraging her at every step along the way.
Q. Why did you choose FB as your communication vehicle? The Baby Boomer generation has embraced Facebook as a means of sharing their thoughts and opinions. It’s also a great way to reach people in the United States and abroad. There are currently 249,000 members from all over the world.You are one active grandma who shares many of her passions with her grandson. What are some of the things you do together?
A. Quinn loves music! He loves to have “dance parties” where I play music for him and we dance. He especially enjoys when I play different versions of the song, “The Mighty Quinn.” There’s a stream near where he lives, and when I visit him, we take walks there. His favorite thing to do is to throw rocks in the stream and to look for dragons.
As a grandmother, I hope I can be an example to Quinn to show that women are strong and should be listened to and respected.
Q Some grandparents dedicate their whole lives to their kids and grandkids, often eschewing everything else in their lives. You don’t seem to have fallen into that rabbit hole. What are some ways you maintain the integrity of your own life while still being an engaged grandparent?
A. I’m a retired elementary teacher. I work part-time teaching English as a Second Language to adult learners. I also teach online courses for elementary school gifted students. I work out every day. I think it’s important to have outside interests and outlets to keep life interesting and to stay sharp. I’m fortunate that Quinn lives nearby so I can visit him often without sacrificing other aspects of my life.
I’ve always been a huge David Bowie fan
Q. Not every grandma has a Bowie tattoo. And, that’s not your only one. Are there any you’ve gotten since becoming a grandparent?
A. I’ve always been a huge David Bowie fan. I went to many of his concerts when I was growing up near Philadelphia, including the Tower Theater show in 1974 where he recorded his “David Live” album. I took my son to see him in concert in 2004, during his last concert tour. After he died, I got the tattoo to remind me of the influence he had in my life and of the great talent he was. Coincidentally, the tattoo artist was also a big Bowie fan. He was thrilled to do the tattoo.
Then, after Mitch McConnell silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren during her speech criticizing attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions, McConnell said, “Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
I decided to get a tattoo of, “Nevertheless, she persisted.” These three words represent the importance of women speaking up for what they believe in. As a grandmother, I hope I can be an example to Quinn to show that women are strong and should be listened to and respected.
Q. If you could teach just one thing to your little man, Quinn, what would it be?
A. Find something in life that makes you happy and pursue it.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR – DEBBY CARROLL
Debby Carroll is Avery and Damon’s Grammy and the Executive Editor and Director of Strategic Development for GRAND. Upon discovering how outdated the images of grandparents were in the children’s books she read to Avery, she decided to write a new one on behalf of fabulous, real grandparents everywhere. RealGrands: From A to Z, Everything a Grandparent Can Be is