By Dave Bernard
Are you one of those fortunate people blessed to have spent quality time with your grandparents? Not all of us are so lucky. Were you perhaps favored with stories of the “old days” when men were men and life was good, when fifty cents bought a three-course dinner and “junk” was found in a yard rather than on Wall Street, when your word was your bond and trust was a given? Oh how times have changed. Our grandparents maintained a distinct outlook on the state of the world usually influenced by events that made up their lifetime. And they are rarely shy about sharing their views. You never know what will come forth from their wise and well worn mouth.
Grandmothers are just antique little girls. ~ Author Unknown
Grandparents – we all have them but not all of us are able to experience first-hand what they have to offer. Too often gone before they are able to make a lasting impression, we get by on pictures and scattered stories telling us of their lives. And you know darn well there are plenty of great stories when parents crack a quick smile as they gaze off into the past to remember and relive special moments. Memories a plenty I am sure because if they were anything like our parents, they must have been quite the 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 something we do reminds others of a grandparent. It could be a simple expression on our face or perhaps 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. It makes perfect sense. I don’t know how many times my son and I are observed behaving like mirror images. It is not uncommon for family members to catch a sidelong glimpse and mistake one for the other. Sharing who and what we are generation by generation is a wonderful thing even if we may never have witnessed firsthand similarities we may have in common with our own grandparents.
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. Since her house was only 40 miles away, we spent many weekends together. I clearly remember visits when we would stay up late and watch old movies while gnawing on a pickle the size of my arm. I remember her dry sense of humor, her love of playing 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. Gram was never shy about sharing her feelings and quickly chimed in with a heavy sigh and sharp comment when something came on the TV that did not strike her fancy. Over the years, many a popular actor was subject to less than stellar reviews. 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 I felt asking myself what had been the last thing I said to her. I doubt it came anywhere close to expressing how important she was in my life. 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 possess a certain power when it comes to doling out advice. Since they have “been through it all”, they know how it should be (at least in their mind). They could easily nitpick impressionable grandkids into submission correcting everything that does not conform to their vision of perfection. And sometimes they do just that. But more often wise and loving grandparents choose to take the high road, smile, offer advice in small doses, and accept the fact that no one is perfect. Of course it is a given that if there was a grandchild even close to perfection it would be theirs. Why not leave disciplining to the parents – grandparents should exercise their inalienable right to spoil and then happily return grandchildren when the day is at end.
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 our children learn to respect and treasure and experience their grandparents while they are here. The likelihood is we will all one day be grandparents and it sure would be nice to be appreciated and loved like that.