Here’s to the elder statesmen of the family!

This week’s blog isn’t about safety or the latest technology or a review of the latest headlines. It’s about grandparents. This Sunday is National Grandparents Day – a time to “honor grandparents and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.” Exactly.

When I think about my grandparents, who have long since passed, it brings back so many great memories and life lessons learned. My grandparents were immigrants from the “old country”; people who came through Ellis Island to America looking for great opportunity. They worked hard. They weren’t school educated, but they were wise, very wise. And that wisdom guided their children (four boys and three girls) and grandchildren to be good people, work hard, do the right thing and cherish family. They survived the great depression, losing a son in the service of his country; illness; and their faith remained unshakable. They lived to be in their 90’s: they were the best. Grandma and Grandpa’s house was a haven for “us kids” as I refer to me, my brother and my cousins. We were fortunate that we all lived close by and during the summer would meet there daily to hang out, play and most likely annoy them to the max. If we did, they never let on. Grandma was a great cook who was always feeding us. Grandpa would hand out what he called “lucky money” – a quarter here, fifty cents there and always with a wink of his eye and the “shhh” sign indicating that it was just between us. And the stories, oh the stories they would tell us; a valuable lesson in every one of them.

They instilled in us a true sense of what it means to be family – through good and bad; ups and downs; when we were lovable and when we were not so lovable. As kids, we thought they would live forever; always be there. Then they weren’t. If you are lucky enough to have your grandparents still with you, don’t take it for granted. Listen to them, learn from them, spend time with them. It will enrich your life beyond expectations.

In the words of Alex Haley, "Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children." Big kids too.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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