Today, what is for most bloggers a “Wordless Wednesday”, I am not going to share a photo with you. I am going to share just a few brief words.
When I was younger, I was really lucky. I had four living grandparents and two living great-grandparents.
It stayed that way until I was four and my Grandpap Peterson passed away. He was my first best friend.
When I was 12, both of my great-grandmothers passed away. Both were over 90. One of them had lived with us for awhile until my Dad went into the ministry. We stayed close and visited as often as possible (even when we moved to another state).
My mother’s parents moved to Myrtle Beach when I was just three months old, but we were blessed to get to spend lots of time with them on visits. Just before I turned 16, my grandfather fell ill and my grandparents temporarily moved back to PA. My grandfather passed away right after I turned 17, and my grandmother moved back to Myrtle.
When I was 19, I went to Niagara Falls on my Spring Break and got word that my dad’s mom passed away.
When I was 21, my grandmother decided to move back up to PA (and I would soon be living in Myrtle). A little over 2 years ago, she started having various health issues off and on. This past summer, her doctors charged our family (we are a HUGE extended family–she has 7 children) to split up the days and everyone take turns being with her. Thankfully, this has kept her out of overnight stays at the hospital/rehab nursing facility since July 31, 2010.
My husband, kids, and I go to visit her at least once a week when my parents are there. It is very precious time with her. We enjoy that our daughter loves to go and see her GREAT GREAT. We enjoy hearing her stories about the past (I learned over the summer that she lost all of her teeth while pregnant with her first child due to a calcium deficiency–my mom didn’t even know that!). We enjoy just sitting with her and being. It is a true blessing.
We are lucky. We have a happy and healthy grandmother who is close(ish) to 90. Our children know her and love her. At the very least, our daughter will have memories of time spent with her. We are close enough to be able to spend time with her. We are able to give back to her all that she’s done for us.
Not everyone is that lucky. My husband never knew his grandfathers, and his grandmothers passed away before he was done with high school. Some people can’t be close to their grandparents due to geography (I spent 3 years apart from my one grandmother and 24 years away from the other set of grands), so I understand that and know it’s not issue. I definitely stayed in touch with occasional phone calls and letters, but I am sure I could’ve done better. Some people don’t even get that.
This isn’t to preach, but it is to say that if you are one of the lucky ones, take some time to get to know the people who love you, whomever that might be. You never know when they won’t be around. It’s sad, but true. It might not be a grandparent, but maybe a cousin who lives right down the street or a sibling that you didn’t get along with growing up. It doesn’t mean you have to be as vigilant as we are, it’s what fits in your schedule and your comfort zone. Maybe it is sending an extra card or making an extra phone call. Just do it, and be thankful for the time spent.
By the way, love you lots, Grandma!