In 1979, Mrs. Marian McQuade’s appeal to have a special day to recognize the value that grandparents have with the next generation was signed as an official proclamation by President Jimmy Carter. It wasn’t meant to be an overly commercialized day that flooded the market with an abundance of cards or token gifts, but rather a day to connect.. Mrs. McQuade was the mom of 15 children, 43 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild before she passed away in 2008. She understood the importance of passing on a legacy.
Recently, I was looking through photos and saw a picture of me with my grandmother. I was priviledged to have both grandmothers and three great-grandmothers alive when I was born. I thought of all the things we did together. I am so thankful.
My Grandma Miller taught me to play “Go-Fish” and “Crazy 8’s”. She also taught me to keep a campsite and how to make homemade noodles.
Great Grandma Upton was the Kanasta player whose lively conversation and story telling kept me entertained for hours. I loved watching her cook and remember how the eggs floated on a thin sea of bacon grease in her cast iron skillet as she cooked up breakfast. One day, I sat down with her and we went through a box of her old photos. I am so glas we did that. I would have never recognized her as the small child siting on the porch of their Arkansas homestead, or in the arms of her dad.
I used to spend part of my summers at my Grandma Doris and Granpa Lynn’s house. We would be the first ones skiing on Bass Lake while the water was slick as glass before helping out at the church where she was the secretary. In the evening, we painted our toenails with bright red polish while watching weekly episodes of Magnum P.I. and fished for “sunnies” off the dock.
There were so many things I did with my grandparents. I always felt fortunate to have them in my life. They helped to shape my character and guide me through childhood with their wisdom, down home sense, and most of all, unconditional love.
I have seen my parents love on my kids the same way. Being there for them and creating memories that our kids will carry with them for the rest of their lives and someday, maybe pass along to their children and grandchildren.
This year marks a huge milestone for John and I as we became grandparents for the first time. There is something about seeing your child become a parent that is amazing. It is like setting the clock back to start, but you have the honor of having front row seats of a new family taking off. Another shoot in your family tree.
Several years ago, I did a story on Grandparent’s Day for the local paper and interviewed those who had just become grandparents. A friend of mine, Dena Saunders, said she wanted to be known as the Mimi who was willing to stop and pray with and for her grandchildren. That no matter what, she wanted to pass along not just a legacy of family heritage, but a spiritual legacy as well.
As excited as I am about twirling in tutus, baking, reading, and taking adventures, that is at the top of my list.
“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” Psalm 89;1
What did your grandparents pass along to you?
What do you want to pass along to your grandkids?