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."
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.