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Grandparents and Grandchildren: Building Memories Together

Updated on May 29, 2016
My grandmother and I
My grandmother and I | Source

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.

No portion of this work may be copied or used without sole, written permission of the author.

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.


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    • smarter4ever profile image
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      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Two of my uncles will arrive late Thursday evening; one from Texas the other from Virginia. I will be sharing a hub about this visit as other family members will gather for some fun events with Gram. Sorry I haven't posted for awhile. I'm working A LOT of hours and just have not had time.

    • smarter4ever profile image
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      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thanks grandmapearl! I appreciate your reading my hubs! Sounds like you have similar memories of your grandparents. They are just simply among the best memories I have to this day! Gram and I still talk about the days.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      This is a great Hub. I loved my grandparents very much and I was very fortunate to live just up our rural road from them. Both my parents worked all day long, so Grandma and Grandpa were always there for us. They had an orchard and Grandpa made a playground where we could play ball or anything we wanted to do. He made a rope swing especially for me. I have so many wonderful memories of all those times. Thanks for reminding me and for emphasizing the importance of making time for family. Voted Up and Beautiful. Thanks also for the Follow.

    • smarter4ever profile image
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      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thanks Peggy W! I'll talk to Gram and see if she's intersted in letting me post some of her writings on here. By the way, I see you are from Wisconsin and now in Texas. I have several family members that were born here, and now living there too. Texas is a wonderful state. I've spent vacation time there and really enjoyed it!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      So very nice to know that you are enjoying quality time with your grandmother. I loved spending time with my grandparents when they were alive and felt very close to them (except for my paternal grandfather who died when my dad was only 7 years of age). So nice that your grandmother is writing down instances and memories from her life. She might even like it if you would post them on HubPages. You could ask her permission. You could even include photos. She might really like that! That would give your times spent together even more of a purpose.

      Welcome to HubPages!

    • smarter4ever profile image
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      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Gram corrected me this afternoon, her brother was a tail gunner, so that is now corrected.

    • smarter4ever profile image
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      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      writeronline,

      I did not think you were gloating! I hope someday to have a happy marriage. Will just have to wait and see if that is even meant to be. It may not! And if that is the case, that is okay with me. I will check out your hub on marriage for sure!

    • profile image

      writeronline 5 years ago

      I read your profile (natch) so I know you're kinda 'in-between'; didn't mean to gloat at all!! But even given what I said above, longterm marriages don't just happen. I did write a hub about how we manage ours. ('Gee', I hear you saying, 'what a surprise' :)

    • smarter4ever profile image
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      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you writeronline! I am looking forward to bringing a piece of happiness to my fellow hubbers! You are lucky to have a wonderful relationship with your spouse. That makes life that much better; you have someone to share it with!

    • profile image

      writeronline 5 years ago

      Nice work. I like your easy 'straight from the heart' style.

      "..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."

      Amen to that. It's how I try to live my life. Except for my Dad's mother, who passed when I was 16, my grandparents were gone before I was born. Luckily for me, I've spent my life in a beautiful relationship with a beautiful person, my wife, and we're now well into the grandparenting stage ourselves. Unfortunately, we live some distance from them all (4), but that doesn't diminish the joy. I like to 'bring a piece of happiness to their lives' any chance I get. And it goes without saying that all they need to do is be alive and in the world to bring it to me / us.

      You're off to a great start here at HP, smarter4ever. I for one am glad you're here.

    • romari profile image

      Rose Maria Rica D. Fuentes 5 years ago from Heaven

      you are so lucky you still have time to spend with your grandma.. unlucky me

    • smarter4ever profile image
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      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you Kristin! :-)

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Both of your pieces today were so heartfelt that reading them was like chatting with you in a coffee shop. I am looking forward to more of your stories and hubs. ~Kristin

    • smarter4ever profile image
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      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you both for your time in reading both of my hubs today, and also for being so supportive. I appreciate it more than you know. I have always wanted to write like this but never had enough courage to share, until now. I am excited to be a part of this community and am looking forward to contributing both my own pieces, but also reading and participating in what everyone else is doing. ~ Melinda

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great Hub:) I have lots of fond memories of my Grandmother too - and she was the best cook ever! Welcome to Hub:)

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Melinda - This is beautiful. I truly envy not only the time you have to spend with your Gram, but how it seems to be time well spent. You both are very lucky to have each other.

      ~voted up and beautiful~

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