While surfing the web this morning I saw something with the words Grandparents Day, and being a new grandparent it got my attention. I suppose I have heard of Grandparents Day, but it was never something we celebrated in our family. I decided to do an internet search to see what I was missing. This link is just one of several that I came across, and after reading it I wasn’t too ashamed that I was clueless about this national holiday as the author who writes for “Grandparents.com” apparently just learned of it as well.
I won’t be spending the day with my grandson today but was blessed to do that last weekend. It was quite by chance that I posted my grandson’s pictures yesterday, just in time for Grandparents Day but there was one thing I omitted in yesterday’s post. It may have be apparent when viewing the last picture that Jackson has a sibling on the way. His little sister is due to arrive in early December. Since this is a high risk pregnancy my daughter, Tina, is under the care of specialists and is receiving special treatments in order to help her carry the baby to full term. We pray that she is able to do so.
I did spend much time today in remembrance of my grandmothers. I don’t have any memories of my grandfathers since my mom’s father died before I was born and we lost my dad’s dad when I was about two. Though my only memories of my paternal grandmother come from when I was young, they are very special. Grandma was a story teller. She had been crippled by rheumatoid arthritis for many years and required total care from family members. Her bed was in the living room. It was low to the ground and there was a throw rug on the floor beside her bed. She would have my sisters and I sit on the “magic carpet” next to her bed and she would tell us stories for what seemed like hours. I think I was 7 years old when grandma died, but 45 years later I can still remember a few of the sweet stories she told us.
My memories of my maternal grandmother span several decades. As a young child spending the night a grandma’s house meant waking up to the smell of rolls baking or fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t know if she ever went to bed because she was always up long before anyone else. There was a cellar full of jars of food that she had canned and the jelly always had a layer of wax on top. She had an attic full of treasures. I remember jars full of buttons that we could use string into necklaces. I remember what seemed like mountains of fabric scraps many of which were cut into squares for quilts. I remember the doll that stood nearly as tall as I was and a stuffed monkey. The Barbie dolls also lived in her attic until we were allowed to bring them out to play with them.
Grandma worked as a dispatcher at the local police station, she volunteered to work the polls at the local elections and she was active in her church, helping with dinners and the annual bazaar. She was a very busy lady.
As we all grew older, I remember she liked to get together for family lunches, maybe at a local restaurant or at someone’s house. These gatherings often included grandma and her sister-in-law (Aunt Louise), my mom, my aunt, my sisters, myself and our children – 4 generations. I remember grandma’s favorite sandwich was a bacon, lettuce and tomato.
Grandma was a very crafty person and I have stored away some of the beautiful crocheted items she made.
I think it was her 80th birthday that the family chipped in and got her a hot air balloon ride as a gift. It was a dream come true for her.
It her last years she came to a point where she was no longer able to live on her own and for a while she lived with my daughters and I. We had come full circle. I was now caring for her as she did for me when I was young. I was honored to be able to help her.
She’s been gone for about 15 years now and today as I remember my grandparents I wonder what I things I missed out on. What are the things that I could have learned from my grandparents. Things like family history, how they provided for themselves or how they lived before modern conveniences. Things that really didn’t seem relevant at the time but seem important to know now.
I am really not sure that there is a need to have a day designated as National Grandparents Day, but I am certain that everyone should make time to spend with and learn from their Grandparents.