Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thank God for Grandparents

I was in our local toy store, and the cashier (a man in his early 70's) was talking to a woman. He came back over to the check out lane where I was waiting and told me that he had known her forever. Their kids grew up together. He said that she was battling cancer right now for the third time, but she wasn't going to give up.

They had been talking about the toys that were on sale that week. She hesitated, thinking, and then said, "No, I don't need to buy any more Thomas stuff." He said that as grandparents they love to give to the grandkids, just to see the looks on their faces, eyes big as saucers. The kids don't care what it is, they just like to be remembered. I told him about my grandmother's box. Every month or two when we went to her house, the first place we went was the closet of the Green Room (so named for its green antiqued furniture and green patterned bedspread. It was next door to the Blue Room, which had royal blue carpet, a blue pattered bedspread and curtains--we were kind of scared of the Blue Room). Sometimes we would find a small pot set that she had replaced in her own kitchen, but most-often it was something as simple as a red Dairy Queen spoon with the trademarked swirl ice cream cone at the top of the handle. We ran to the box well-past the age of really caring what was in the box. That grandfather was exactly right. We didn't care what it was. We just wanted to see what special treat Mammaw might have left for us.

I felt as if I was talking to Confucius or some other wise sage as he imparted more of this wisdom that life's experiences and joys and sorrows has given him: "You don't see it now. You see them everyday. But we grandparents don't see them everyday, and we see it."

It.

The wonder, the change, the growth. There's nothing like a kid to teach you to appreciate life-- theirs and your own.

I am thankful for grandparents. I had all four of my grandparents until I was a senior in high school when my father's father died suddenly. My grandmother lived to see me get married. My mom's parents both lived to enjoy their great grandchildren, and I still have my Mimi. Likewise for Terry's grandparents. Two are still living, but all four lived to meet Amanda. We are fortunate. Even though we ourselves are graying, they still see "It" in us. To be loved by a grandparent is such a blessing.

I now have the pleasure of seeing my parents and my husband's parents as grandparents to my children. They love them because they first loved us. But when they are with the grandkids, we don't even matter much anymore. That wonder is hard to hold a candle to.

I have linked this up to Sting My Heart's Thankful Thursday.

21 comments:

Denise said...

I really enjoyed this post, blessings to you always.

Appliejuice said...

Awww, that brings back memories of my childhood and it has opened my eyes to my children with thier grandparents. Yes, Thank the good Lord for grandparens. :)

eph2810 said...

What a wonderful thankful post :). I too was blessed to have all four of my grandparents when I grew up. And three out of the four even met our son. My husband's grandma just past away this past winter...

Thank you for sharing, Jennifer.

Blessings to you and yours.

Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

Oh what a great post!

My children weren't able to meet two of my grandparents and I know that they would've loved one another greatly! But my grandma, at 87, is still with us and spunky. My kids brag about their great grandma (Mamaw) because she still plays golf and up until two years ago, she drove a porche. She's spunky, that's for sure.

Grandparents are so important in our lives.

Have a FANTABULOUS week!

Rae said...

I love this post! I only have one grandparent left but I remember the sheer joy of just receiving a present from my grandma, no matter what it was. The ones I still have mean more now that she's gone.

Thanks for stoppin' over by my place & taking the time to comment. I'm actually a Texan girl myself stuck up in Blizzardville, Minnesota. I confuse lots of people with "Northern Southerner" -I wasn't sure myself if I had it right until my mom assured me I did ;) Have a GREAT Thursday! =)

devildogwife said...

That was beautiful. I too have fond memories with my grandparents. We wish that our daughter could spend more time with her grandparents and great grandparents, but she loves them just the same...

Dad said...

Very aptly said. Nice memories of Mother and Daddy.
Love to all, but especially to Amanda and Kyle.
Pops

Lori said...

Jennifer, I loved this post because I too have very fond memories of my grandparents and wish for Perry to have the same. What a blessing grandparents are!

org junkie said...

Jennifer this post holds so much truth and made me weepy. My kids have such a special bond with my parents even now that my parents have moved across the country. Thank goodness for MSN and the games you can play on there as well as Webkinz.
Have a great day!!
Laura

Deena said...

**sigh** I just love coming by here...I always know I'm going to be blessed.
My children got to know my parents well before they each went home to Jesus. My husband's mom passed away before our son was born, and our daughter was only 4, so they don't have many memories...and Papa Pete is a distant grandparent..he just doesn't know what he's missing.

TaunaLen said...

Jennifer, I so enjoyed this post. I came by to respond to your comments about my "Where I'm From" post. You don't meet many people who know how to play 42 Dominoes - it's a pastime that is fading, I'm afraid! But my kids all know how to play and we play with grandma and great grandpa at least 3-4 times a year. Your post falls right in line with what I wanted to say about my "Mimi". She is an amazing woman who lived an incredible life, and loved us very much. I am the oldest, and she is "Mimi" because I am the one who started calling her that. Her memory has been stolen by alzheimer's disease, and I miss talking with her so very much. I treasure the memories I have with her, and am very thankful that my children know her, and remember her before she forgot us. Her husband, my grandfather is still with us. We celebrated his 80th birthday in January. We are blessed to see him often, and hear his stories. He's pretty amazing, too. Sorry to blog in your comment section, but it's nice to be reminded of the heritage we have. I am grateful for it all.

~TaunaLen

on the Rock said...

I too love seeing my parents enjoy and be a blessing to my nephew their first grandson! Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts.

Barb said...

I didn't have grandparents that cared about me at all. I don't think my existence even mattered to any of them. So grandparents who love their grandchildren are a huge, huge blessing.

As a first-time grandparent myself, I can assure you that there are no words that can describe how much I love my little grandson. I think it's something you have to experience before you can begin to understand it.

Being a grandmother is wonderful.

And this post is beautiful.

Kathleen Marie said...

What a fabulous post and I so agree. I only really knew one Grandparent well but my other grandma and I wrote letters, lots of letters so I got to know her in a different way. My children are so blessed to know their grandparents...all of them. They grew up with my in-laws, in fact their home was a second home to my kids.

God is just soooooo good!

marlise said...

I loved reading your post. Grandparents are such a blessing. I only met my mom's parents. My father's died when he was young, but they left an amazing testimony of their relationships with Jesus Christ. That alone was a blessing. Thanks for appreciating grandparents and sharing your thankful thoughts.

Melissa R. Garrett said...

Oh thank you so much for visiting me at Little Woolgatherings. Funny, my sister and I had our own "blue room" at my grandparents house, and we have fond memories of jumping on the bed and rummaging through the old jewelry boxes and drawers. My grandmother never seemed to mind that we got into a lot of mischief! I am SO thankful I still have both my grandparents, although I sure wish they lived a lot closer. My husband's parents live an hour away, so we get to see them a few times a month when schedules allow. The relationship between my children and their grandparents is such a wonderful and magical thing :-)

Beck said...

Gorgeous, deeply resonant post. I loved it.

Terri @ In His Hands said...

What a sweet post! Thank you for sharing!

Blessings~

Tammy said...

Wonderful post, Jennifer.

I so agree...there is something so unique and to be treasured about grandparents.
After my mom was here about a week ago for her 80th birthday, I posted a WFMW on interviewing grandparents...not so much a how-to, but a "to". Just because of the bond and the give and take, and the wisdom and first-hand history. It's so importnant!
My children have only one grandparent...and she is quite old to be their grandparent. But we cherish her even more because of that.

Oh, and that man was so wise...what he said made me stop and ponder...the growth and change and wonder we don't see as well as they do. Wow.

Susanne said...

Beautiful Jennifer. Grandparents are special. I grew up without mine here. Both sets were in Europe and I had only met them once when I was 10. But I had a wonderful set of Godparents who I always considered in my heart as my grandparents.

Lyndy said...

Great post Jennifer. I am new to your blog via Thankful Thursday. You are so right, grandparents are such a blessing. My grandmother lived to be almost 100 and I was her only grandchild. We had such a special bond and she is my absolute hero.

Blessings,

Lyndy