I have this vivid memory riding around on yellow tractor with my grandfather throughout my childhood home. I also can recall crab fishing at the beach off of the side of a dock in my mismatched clothes and jelly shoes.
See, I was lucky enough to grow up living under the same roof as my grandmother and grandfather. I don’t think I appreciated that until I lost them both only weeks apart three years ago. For me it was never a big deal having my grandparents around as a child, I kind of took it for granted. Even when I grew up I always planned on them being around. We had Sunday dinners every week and dessert would always be a blueberry cake that my grandfather made. Before my grandmother got sick with Alzheimer’s she would cook. I can still taste all her homemade meals. Again, those things I feel like I always took for granted. I never expected I would not get to eat their dinners, or drink coffee together on the back porch. That’s the thing about grandparents — life with them is so simple that sometimes you forget to appreciate the moments you have with them.
My oldest son has memories with my grandparents, unfortunately, my middle son has fewer memories with my grandfather and none with my grandmother because of the stage of Alzheimer’s she was in at the time, and my daughter has no memories. That breaks my heart and I’m constantly thinking of ways that I could help them get to know my grandparents and remember past memories. I always make sure to talk about them because I don’t want them to forget those memories and I want my daughter to feel like she can picture exactly the type of grandparents they were.
The bond of a grandparent and grandchildren is like no other bond. Grandparents just have an overall love of spending time doing anything with their grandchildren. My husband’s parents talk to the kids almost daily and enjoy treating them to fun treats or surprises. My grandparents would help babysit when my oldest son was little and never would ask anything in return.
Celebrate your children’s grandparents. The ones who are with you now, and the ones who are no longer with you. They have a deep relationship and love for their grandchildren that is different than a parent. Each year a day is designated to celebrate grandparents. This year that date is September 8th. If you are near grandparents be sure to spend time with them that day, share with them why they mean so much to you. I personally wish I had taken more time to appreciate and spend time with my grandparents before they passed. If you’re not near grandparents send them a card or handwritten note. It really is the thought that counts and getting a card from their grandchildren will mean so much to them.