In honor of grandparents

Are you one of those people fortunate enough to have had time to spend with your grandparents? Were you perhaps the lucky recipient of stories of the “old days” when men were men and life was good, when a dime user to buy a three-course dinner and “junk bonds” was not even in our vocabulary, when your word was your bond and trust was a given? Did you gaze at that wrinkled visage atop a body that seemed in a perpetual state of shrinking never quite knowing what would next escape their puckered mouth? 

Grandmothers are just antique little girls. ~Author Unknown

Grandparents – we all had them but not all of us were able to experience first-hand what they had to offer. Often gone before our time, we get by on pictures and scattered stories telling us of their lives. And you know there is a quite a conglomeration of stories when our parents crack a quick smile as they gaze off into the past and relive special moments. Memories a plenty I am sure because if they were anything like my parents, they had to have been characters. 

My grandkids believe I’m the oldest thing in the world.  And after two or three hours with them, I believe it, too. ~Gene Perret

We occasionally hear how something we do reminds others of a grandparent. It could be a simple expression or it could be the way we turn a particular phrase. It may be something as insignificant as the way we walk or as important as the way we treat a fellow human being. We sound like or look like or act like Grandpa Jacob – if we had only had a chance to meet him face to face.

Grandparents are similar to a piece of string – handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of their grandchildren. ~Author Unknown

I was fortunate enough to spend time with my dad’s mom who lived into my college years. We shared many weekends together at family events as she lived only 40 minutes away. I clearly remember visits when we would stay up late and watch old movies while gnawing on a pickle the size of a meatloaf. I remember her dry sense of humor, her love of bridge, her evil hissing black cat who allowed no one near except Gram, and  her playing the piano while brave family members stepped up to sing along. I remember when my family and I were on vacation in Maui and we got the news that Gram had passed on. And I remember the emptiness that I felt wondering what had been the last thing I said to her while she was on this earth. I sure hope it ended with “I love you”.

A grandmother is a babysitter who watches the kids instead of the television.  ~Author Unknown

Grandparents know it all but generally prefer to dole out wisdom slowly. They could overwhelm us with why something should be one way because their experience tells them so. The focus of their attention could be to correct each and every character flaw and mistake the grandkids make. But loving  grandparents take the high road and just smile knowing that no one is perfect but if there was a grandchild even close to perfection it would be theirs.Leave the discipline to the parents – grandparents get to spoil and then return grandchildren when the day is done. 

When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window.  ~Ogden Nash

Those of us who lived part of our lives along side our grandparents are blessed. Looking back I think we realize that. And I hope by our actions and deeds that our children learn to respect and treasure and experience their grandparents while they are here. The reality is we will all one day be grandparents and it sure would be nice to be appreciated and loved in a like fashion.

I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather – not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car. ~Will Shriner

To grandparents everywhere…