- Death & Loss of Life
Grandparents and Grandchildren: Building Memories Together
In Loving Memory of My Grandmother
I have been fortunate to build many memories with my grandmother. This hub was written while she was alive. She has since passed so I lovingly dedicate this to her.
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My moms mother; my grandmother, is 90 years old. She is the most loving and funny woman I know, and I am fortunate to spend time with her. She is a southern woman; raised in Arkansas; married and moved to Wisconsin in her early twenties. Grandma has offered some very good advice to me over the years, and I appreciate her openness when talking about her life.
As far back as I can remember, I have always spent time with my grandparents. When my parents had to leave town or run errands, I was often dropped off with them. While some kids saw their relatives on special holidays, I saw mine at least once or twice a week. I always enjoyed being around them, whereas some of my friends did not particularly enjoy being around theirs. My grandparents owned a farm in South Central Wisconsin. My Grandpa was a collector of exotic animals; horses, and whatever else captured his interest. Time at the farm was never boring, and I relished every minute spent there. I was either in the pasture hanging out with the horses, or walking a trail around a grove of pine trees, which happened to lead past an area where the oxen grazed. Other times I walked through the woods looking for birds, mice, flowers, berries, or anything I found interesting. When I got tired or hungry, I would go back to the house to grab a chocolate chip cookie (homemade) from a cookie jar at the end of the kitchen counter near the back door, or lie down for a quick nap.
As I got older, I began to talk to my grandma more about my life, her life, my mom, and other family members. Now, I prefer to ask her about her childhood, and her memories of growing up. Grandma has so many stories and anecdotes to share, and I enjoy learning more about her. One of my aunts asked her to write down all of her memories into a journal. To date, she has over 20 pages written. That might not sound like a lot, but it is!
Speaking of memories, that's really what I want people to take away from this hub, more than anything. This is especially important for grandchildren. If you, as a grandchild don't have many memories with your grandparents, it's not too late. There are many ways to connect with your grandparent/s that all can enjoy.
My grandmothers memory journal has been a fantastic way for us to connect. Most recently I reading a page in her journal and came across a story she wrote about her brother. I was stunned; I did not know she had a brother as she had never talked about him. I always thought she only had sisters. When I inquired about her brother, she indicated he had disappeared years ago and the family did not know what had happened to him. While I was sitting there with her, I picked up my phone and did a search using her brothers name. Surprise! I found his burial site information listed on a Missouri Barracks Cemetery website, as he had been a tail gunner in the armed services. While she had known he was in the service, she hadn't received any knowledge with regards to his whereabouts for quite some time. She was both sad and excited; sad that he had passed on, but excited to at least have some information. Apparently, other family members had given up on finding any information on him, but as luck would have it, I found the missing link! This created quite a buzz in the family. I was just happy to have given her some peace with regards to her missing brother.
Grandma and I used to have date nights. We would eat at a local Chinese restaurant. Sometimes after dinner we would head to one of the local stores to look around, and then off to her place. A typical evening involved chatting about life, and sometimes she would make hot tea.
On one of our last nights we watched a movie. She had recently purchased a flat screen television and was unable to figure out how to get the DVD player to work. After nearly a half hour had passed, I finally figured out how to get it to work and started the movie (which was great by the way). I stayed until around 11:00 PM and by that time Grandma was tired. She watched from her balcony as I walked to my car in the parking lot, and flashed her porch light off and on to say goodnight one last time.
Memories! I am so lucky to have so many with my grandmother! There have been times in my life where I was so busy I did not take time to spend with her and I regret that. The only thing I can do is continue to spend as much time with her as I can. Like I said earlier, it’s never to late to create memories with your loved ones. I hope that at the very least, I have given you some ideas for creating memories with your grandparents! Cherish every moment you have, because when all is said and done at the end of the day, the best you can hope for is to have brought a piece of happiness to someone in your life.