Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grandparents Day

Today is Grandparents Day, a very special day for members of the family who probably do not receive recognition often enough.  After all, if it weren’t for them, we would not be here.  Grandparents are a special breed; some are overly affectionate, while others offer what they can, based on what they learned from their own parents and grandparents.  Those in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are a much different generation than the younger grandparents of today. 
I always felt fortunate to have grandparents, even great grandparents, while I was in high school.  Many of my friends did not have grandparents and there were quite a few whose parents were close to the age of my grandparents.  Obviously, my parents had me when they were fairly young.  While it might not be an ideal situation for young adults to have children, it did give me the advantage of having my great grandparents around for much of my younger years. 

I also had the advantage of having more than the normal amount of grandparents.  When my parents split up and my dad remarried, I will still pretty young when I gained a step-mom, as well as two additional grandparents.  For the remainder of my childhood, I not only had great grandparents still living but also six grandparents. 
As time happens to pass, so do our loved ones.  I was a young adult when the last of my great grandparents passed away but I have been so fortunate to have had my grandparents through most of my adulthood.  It has also meant that my boys have also had the benefits of getting to know their great grandparents.  Although I have lost four of my grandparents over the past decade, I feel blessed that they were able to be a part of the earlier years of my boys’ lives. 

I wish to dedicate this post to my grandparents who are still living and also to those who have passed on: 
My step-grandmother who was the first to pass away was a very independent soul with a tough attitude, never taking guff from anyone, young or old.  My maternal grandfather saw many, many things throughout his long life and probably grew up believing he had to always be strong but I will forever be grateful for the caring words he offered me before he left us.  My paternal grandfather was a kind and caring soul, he was a good listener, and he was a constant joke-teller, oftentimes making you laugh before he got to the punch line because he was already laughing so hard himself.  Just being around him made you feel special and I truly miss that about him.  My maternal grandmother was someone who never seemed to change in appearance throughout my childhood years and even now when I view old photographs it still amazes me.  She was a tough cookie during my younger years, seeing many things throughout her 94 years but as she aged, she also became more affectionate and eager to be a part of my life and my sons’ lives.  She was a sweet, caring and very cute grandmother and I am thankful for the time we spent with her in her later years.

Now that I am feeling very nostalgic about the grandparents who are gone, I will move on to talk about my grandparents who are still very much with us:
My step-grandfather is a quiet and gentle man who, now in his 80’s, is still very active socially and physically.  He could probably put some men half his age to shame not only in stamina but also in bowling skills.  If only everyone could age as well as him, the younger generation might look at their elders in a much different light.   And then there is my maternal grandmother.  She is one of the most loving and caring individuals you might ever meet.  She has a calm spirit and is someone who will always be there if I need her.  She is such a wonderful grandmother, other kids would want to call her grandma when she was a cook at my elementary school; something I was always jealous about when I was a kid.  Well, who am I kidding?  I’d probably be jealous now if anyone else wanted to call her grandma!      

Here’s a quote and a cute snapshot of my grandparents before my grandfather passed away:
The history of our grandparents is remembered not with rose petals
but in the laughter and tears of their children and their children's children.
It is into us that the lives of grandparents have gone.
It is in us that their history becomes a future.”  
~Charles and Ann Morse~

Grandparents are very special and a precious part of our history.  I wish all grandparents out there a tremendously Happy Grandparents Day. 

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