– By Mary May Larmoyeux – Not too long ago I headed West to spend a couple of weeks helping with our brand new grandson. On my day of departure I had no idea what would be ahead: not only the joy of being with loved ones, but also cancelled flights that caused unplanned nights in hotels. And while on this trip, I was reminded of the unique role of grandparents.
Since my friend Karen Jordan and I are working on a book for grandparents, I decided to make the best of flight delays by asking people I met a question: “What is something that your grandparents did that was special to you?”
It was amazing how that simple question prompted conversations to flow! With a twinkle in their eyes, or a nod of the head, person after person was quickly transfixed with memories of a bygone age. An age when they felt the unconditional love of a grandparent.
Gary immediately answered my question with one word: Prayer. While he was growing up, his mother reminded him over and over, “Your grandmother is praying for you.” He said that he didn’t really appreciate this when he left home at age 18. But now, decades later, he says, “I am the man I am today because of my grandmother’s prayers.”
Devon’s family lived with her grandmother off and on. And today she has fond memories of her grandmother scratching her back and drawing pictures on it. Now in her 20’s, when Devon and her grandmother are reunited, guess what grandma does. Yes, scratches her back and draws pictures.
A hotel shuttle driver said he was only six years old when his grandfather died. But before his grandfather left this world, he told story after story, including how he fled to the United States from Austria when the German death squad was after him. The shuttle driver said his grandfather had a tremendous impact on his life and today he is passing on the family stories that were told to him when he was just a young boy.
Grandparents link generations together and touch hearts. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliana once said, “What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.”
Now it’s your turn. What was the role of grandparents in your life? What is something that your grandparents did that was special to you? Or, what is something special that you do for your own grandkids?
© 2016, 2017 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
If you would like some creative ideas for grandparents, check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart. Paper and electronic versions are available. (Great for parents, aunts and uncles, too!)