Monday, November 11, 2013

The Importance of {Great} Grandparents

I have recently watched my mother become a GREAT grandmother. This is a title not afforded to many grandparents. They are not fortunate enough to see their grandchildren procreate and relish in the joy a new baby always brings. 

In this society today I don't think people value the gift that is having a grandparent/great-grandparent. These are the people that hold the genetic and historic maps of who we are and who we will become. They have stories and wisdom that can't be found in books. They have family stories and traditions that people take for granted these days and that they will never truly appreciate until it's too late to ask. 

I was not fortunate enough to truly know and appreciate my grandparents. My grandfathers were both passed on before I had the chance to even really know who they were. They both passed when I was 2. My grandmothers, both surpassed their husbands, and never remarried by the way. My maternal grandmother lived in another state and therefore I wasn't able to really develop a close relationship with her. She passed away when I was 28. My paternal grandmother lived a few hours away from where we live. I did get to visit her but not with a consistency that would establish the relationship my nieces/nephews have with my mom. My paternal grandmother passed away when I was 14. 

The older that I get the more I want to know about my past, where I came from and exactly who my family is. And now with my father being gone, the importance of finding out about my family history seems more important and also less attainable. 

The memories I do have of my paternal grandmother consist of mostly her sitting and talking in Italian with her sister. Now, more than anything, I wish she would have taught me some of the language. I wish that I would have expressed an interest. But what did I know? 

My memories of my maternal grandmother are warm and inviting. I have vivid memories of sitting at her kitchen table watching tv with her and my mom having coffee and her cooking sauce. There was something about her kitchen that was always so cozy. It was such a gathering place. I remember her feistiness and her pride. I truly wish that I had the opportunity to know her better and that I could ask her questions now. I'd love to talk to her about her recipes and her family traditions. 

I love seeing the relationship that my mom has with her grandchildren and I am a little jealous! That is what it is all about. They are close to her and know they can talk to her and trust her and they know they can have fun with her too. It's a great experience to watch. I think it is pretty cool also that she has the opportunity to be apart of her great-granddaughter's life. It is truly a very rare gift. 

Do you have a relationship with your grandparents? Do you have great-grandparents?

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