“Everyone deserves the special relationship that you only get when you have grandparents, charming mischief and lessons learned, happy hearts and warm memories.”
BY M. AMBROSE
I never had Grandparents. I mean, of course I did, but not grandparents who actually cared about who I was, or about ever finding out. When I was fifteen, my family rented a cottage from 3 elderly women, 70, 80, and 90 years old. My sisters and I were 15, 11, and 10. They took us in like we were the granddaughters they had never had. They didn’t care that we weren’t actually theirs, or that we had just met. They wanted us to know that they cared, and we did—they filled a gaping void in our lives and gave us something that we figured we would never have: Grandparents.
I’ll always remember the summer twilights on their pink gingerbread porch, the Shirley Temples that 80-year-old Jean would make after teaching us about the hundreds of flowers in her beautiful garden, the inspiring and uplifting stories that 90-year-old Irene would tell us all about her amazing, long life, and the fun beauty tips from the forever fashionable Sadie.
They wanted to hear from us too, which was a first. They were curious about us, and what we had to share, just as much as we were interested in what they had to say.
We’ve moved away since then, but we visit and talk to each other often. I’m constantly seeing things that remind me of them, little things, like roaring laughter, fluffy pink fleeces, Makers Mark whiskey. It was a summer that changed all of our lives.
I wrote this because I want anyone reading this to know that it is never too late. Not for finding love, in any sense of the word. Not for being happy. Not for having grandparents, and not for having grandkids.
Everyone deserves the special relationship that you only get when you have grandparents, charming mischief and lessons learned, happy hearts and warm memories—whether they’ve known each other for decades, or for weeks.
All you have to do is reach out. Ask questions to any youngster in your life. Let them know that you love them, that they’re special, and that you appreciate them. Dance in the garden, smile and laugh, buy them a balloon, do whatever it takes, because it can change both of your lives, in one of the best ways.
You can take anyone in and create a family, like a patchwork quilt. You don’t all have to come from the same place or live the same life to create something beautiful.
M. Ambrose writes both fiction and non-fiction. She always wanted grandparents and was ecstatic when she actually found Irene, Jean, and Sadie. She credits her family as her inspiration for writing what she believes in, being bold, and inspiring her to be a better person each and every day.