There is nothing like the special time spent with grandparents. My Grandma C. passed away this past spring, so I no longer have any living grandparents, but I still have all of the great memories of the time spent with them.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
I never really knew my dad’s dad, but his mom, “Grandma W.”, will always be remembered for her incredible cooking. She was Ukrainian and I will always remember her delicious perogies and cabbage rolls, and how she always had a chocolate bar stashed away for when her grand kids came to visit. Grandma and Grandpa W. had 11 children (9 boys and 2 girls) and my dad and his twin brother were numbers 9 and 10 of the clan. Can you imagine having 8 children and then finding out you were having twins? Ugh! I have trouble managing my two. There were 19 years between the oldest and youngest child. My grandma was born in 1897, so she was already quite old when I was a child, but I can remember her actively participating in our family card games which was a regular occurence in our family. We were all very competitive and usually played for money (nickels or dimes). It is one of my best childhood memories. To this day, one of my favourite things to do is have a round of Canasta with family or friends.
My mom’s parents were considerably younger than my dad’s, so I have many more memories of them. Like my dad, my mom had a big family. There were 4 girls and 2 boys, and my mom was the eldest child. Grandma and Grandpa C. were farmers, but had retired and moved to “town” by the time I came along. My dad coached a senior men’s baseball team for many years, and Grandma and Grandpa were regulars at all of their home games, so I saw them often even though we didn’t live in the same town. My grandpa was a trapper, and I can remember spending time with him out in the shed looking at the pelts and learning tid bits about trapping. He also etched leather as a hobby and I continue to carry one of his handmade wallets in my purse. It has an “H” for Helen and was made specially for my Grandma (Helen). My Grandma loved birds, so he made a bird on the opposite side. As a teen/young adult, I didn’t appreciate the workmanship or the signifigance of having something handmade to be passed on from generation to generation, but I was fortunate enough to get Grandma’s wallet when she recently passed away. I will always treasure it and the memories it holds. They were both lots of fun and were all about spending time with family. I can remember Grandpa’s great sense of humour and playing Scrabble with Grandma. I have great memories of our huge family Christmases with all 21 grandchildren and a house full of laughter.
My grandparents were not wealthy and we were never spoiled with gifts or money. Their gifts to us always came in the form of family time with great food, laughter and lots of fun. It was all about relationship. You were always greeted with a hug and knew you were loved. It was so awesome to go to my grandparents for lunch or dinner and just hang-out and spend time with them. I used to love to ask them questions about what it was like when they were growing-up and learn about how much things had changed. They had so much wisdom and always had time for us, their grandchildren.
I know how much my own kids love it when their grandparents come to their concerts or to watch their games. Shay will often ask “Is Grandpa coming?” before his hockey games, as he loves to know that Grandpa is there to watch. Grandparents have the ability to really speak into the lives of our children and if you are fortunate enough to have the support and involvement of grandparents in your children’s lives, consider yourself blessed. Be thankful for that love and support. Your child’s life is much richer because of it.
Eden and Shay know my mom, “Grandma Ruth,” very well even though they never had the opportunity to meet her. You would never know she is not a significant part of their lives, as we talk about her often and they know so much about her and the kind of person she was. My daughter will often say things like “I play piano, just like my Grandma Ruth” or “Can you make Grandma Ruth’s pancakes?” Despite this, they never got the chance to spend time with her….to bake cookies together or make crafts or go for a sleepover. They have missed out on so much, that I know she would have brought to their lives. If you are a parent and your children are fortunate enough to have the love, support and influence of a special grandparent in their life, be thankful. Appreciate the special gift your children have been given.
A Toast to Grandparents
To all the grandparents out there…my wish is that you have a special day and know how much your love and devotion to your grandchildren is appreciated and how special you are. You are never too old to make a difference in the life of a child! Cheers to you and have a great Grandparents Day!
P.S. I really wanted to embed this video in my post, but thought I better not. Bill Cosby is one of my very favourite comedians and I have had the opportunity to hear him live twice. He does a “sketch” on Grandparents (and parenting) that is absolutely hilarious. His humour is generally very clean and non-offensive, but I was uncomfortable posting beacause of the part at the very end of the clip (from 6:51 to the end). If you feel so inclined and are up for a great laugh, check out the video. Feel free to stop the clip at 6:51 if you wish. Enjoy!
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