This post is dedicated to our grandparents, great grandparents, and parents (who are our daughter's grandparents). Today is Grandparent's Day. I thought I'd share the history of the day: The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade (now age 91), a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. President Jimmy Carter, in 1978, proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Even though neither Matthew nor myself have grandparents in nursing homes, we find it enjoyable to tap into the wisdom of our granparents as often as the week allows.
This is a day that I have never missed. My friends and most family are always shocked that I've remembered this day again this year, while they have let it pass without much thought. It used to be that the card section of the stores around town were LOADED with Grandparent Day cards. It seems these days that it has been passed over minus a small section that isn't taken over by Halloween cards. It makes me sad to know that there are people who forget this day, because I think of it to be just as wonderful as a Mother's day or Father's day.
Matthew and I had most of our rearing done by our grandparents. Sure we lived with our parents and they sent us to school and tucked us in at night, but some of our most enlightening moments came from those summers spent at our grandparents. I have often thought I could pen an entire novel on the "grandparentisms" I learned over the years. It would make you laugh until you cried and probably cry until you laughed.
I love my grandparents and all the little ways they made life better for my sister and I. We knew that no matter what the world had against us, we had two people in Orange, Texas who could make us feel unstoppable. There was always Blue Bell in the freezer (thanks PaPaw) and an all-night gab session in grandmother's bed. Don't think I don't remember the summer I wanted grapes and they were some ridiculous $3.99 a pound, but PaPaw didn't bat an eye and bought them for me. Then there was the trips to the DERA pool every afternoon after he'd worked a full day just so Chels and I could swim. Grandmother has made her sacrifices too, eating Mexican food everytime we come to town, even though her heartburn will sear through her stomach for days. There was also the trip that we took when grandmother and I were so sick, the travel trailer broke an axle and it was about a hundred degrees, but PaPaw didn't want Chelsea to suffer and took her down to the little hotel pool. Another infamous trip was to see the Grand Canyon. Justing getting Grandmother and I to look at it, made us both dizzy. We are both terrified of heights, but followed PaPaw's instructions to sit on limbs of trees (much too close to the edge for our comfort) and pose in all sorts of places around the rim of the Canyon. About half way through our walking tour, PaPaw notes that the roll of film is full and stops to switch it out. He proceeded to pull out loads of film that hadn't wound properly, assuring us that this was normal and that there was alway some extra. After nearly 5 feet of film had been removed, the film snapped apart and PaPaw thought we probably lost that picture. Sure enough, only one roll of all the film taken in that beautiful national park came out with any pictures on it. Our memories, much to PaPaw's dismay have served us well though. Thanks for so many great times and for those we haven't even dreamed of yet.
I also love Matthew's grandparents. They are the type of people that you meet and you instantly fall in love with. If you can picture the quintessential Brooklyn, NY couple married for 67 years, living in the same house they raised their children, that is Bill and Rita. From the first time I met them, I was hooked. Grandma and granpa took me right in. It was so wonderful living in Connecticut, when we could visit them often. They would get us Chinese from the place down the block and we'd bring the Rispoli's Italian cookies. We would visit at their table until dark. Grandpa telling his stories about his service in the military and grandma catching us up on the family. Thanks for loving Matthew and helping mold him into the wonderful husband and father he is today.
Madeleine is lucky to have been to born to parents with such great love and respect for their grandparents, because she has some pretty terrific ones herself. I hope that Madeleine will be able to look back on her life in thirty years and have the same great memories I have from my grandparents.
Time passes too quickly and we forget to look back. One of the best ways to look back often is to stay connected with those who have gone the road before you, especially your grandparents. I'd like to think that grandparents are parents with lots of frosting (and who doesn't love frosting)!
I've collected some of pics of our family with grandparents, enjoy the day. Love and hugs to all the grandparents, especially ours.
My mom and Maddie's grandparents Andrea & Seaborn:
Matthew's parents and Madeleine's grandparents Ron & Rita:
Matthew's grandparents Bill & Rita:
My grandmother and PaPaw, Jack & Peggy:
One of our surviving Grand Canyon pictures