Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weekend With My Grandma

The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy.  ~Sam Levenson

Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.  ~Author Unknown

The first quote made me smile when I stumbled upon it, and thought it'd be good to share it. As I posted yesterday, I spent this past weekend almost continuously at an assisted living facility visiting my grandma. I've always enjoyed spending time with that generation, and in high school even volunteered twice a week at a retirement home. 

I think there's something beautiful that happens when multiple generations get together and share time, laughter, and memories. With age, perspective and wisdom can change. I say can because I've known a number of older people who have come to some very wrong conclusions (everyone in this current generation is failing college, none of them are responsible, etc...) which leads them to be very angry and difficult to be around. By and large, however, I enjoy the stories and conversations I have with older people. I find, too, that there can be a lot of loneliness & regret with this age group, and I think it's important for younger generations to invest time in them as well. I can say that some of my most important lessons in life (both good & bad) have been taught by my grandparents. 

This weekend was all about me spending time with my grandma. I live far enough away that I don't get to see her very often, and wish very much that I could see her on a weekly basis. She is slipping more frequently into dementia, sometimes not even remembering that her husband just died. On good days, she can tell me lots of details about her life, both current and past. It's hard for me to see her that way when I remember her swinging me through the sprinkler when I was little. One thing my grandma has not lost, however, is her hospitable nature. My grandma is very big into hospitality, and this continues today. After two nurses came in to give her a sponge bath one day, she offered both of them a cup of tea. She asks me repeatedly if I want anything to eat or drink, if I'm warm enough, and if she can do anything for me at all. This causes me to smile, as she can't even get in a car right now, and has to have at least 1-2 people helping her go the bathroom. Every time I'm with my grandma, I feel deeply loved and cared for. So while I may be cutting up her food and folding her clothes now, I'm so happy to do this for the woman who has invested in my life and loved me for many decades. I hope I'm as hospitable as she is when I'm her age. 

As I said in yesterday's post, being in the assisted living facility lead to a lot of thankfulness for my current levels of health, and the abilities that I have to take care of myself. The memory of this makes doing the daily household chores a little easier to handle, knowing that one day they'll need to be done and I won't be able to do them. 

Were you (or are you) close to your grandparents? What's one important lesson you've learned from the older generations?


  1. I was close to my grandmother. She passed when I was 13, but she knew she was dying and so she passed on so much wisdom in the year before she did. Specifically, she taught me a love of reading and spelling.

  2. That's so nice that you got spend time with your grandma, and that first quote made me laugh! I was really close to my maternal grandparents and as a teen I'd spend a lot of time visiting with them at their house. They lived near the college I was going to and I'd stop in to say hi about once a week. It was really nice. My grandpa passed away when I was 17. My grandma is 95 and still kicking. She's so special to me.