For as long as I can remember, I celebrated Grandparents Day. Handmade crafts, school programs, cheap keepsake mugs, Hallmark cards, and special visits. From being a school-age child to an adult, I celebrated this day. One of the last real celebrations I had was in 2016 when I announced that they would become great-grandparents. This was a special day for them, but for me as well.
I celebrated them because they deserved it.
You see, I grew up with my maternal grandparents. I lived under their roof for much of my young adult life. I genuinely loved being in their presence. This is a special kind of relationship that I certainly wish more people got to cherish. While it’s not exactly normal to live with your grandparents, it is normal to see what they’re worthy of.
Birthday cards with money, signed with love, were never missed, no matter whether they were hand-delivered or mailed. A phone call always brightened up their day. The rules are different. The fun is different. They have knowledge and wisdom that changes lives. They have quirky qualities that we learn to love. They are respected and honored. And, heaven forbid you choose to act up in the presence of Grandpa. Fortunately, Grandma is there to swoop in and save the day when you do. Gosh, they are special beings.
But what do we do when they’re gone?
My papaw passed away a few weeks before my second child was born. My mamaw is ridden with dementia. It’s different now – the celebration. Do we even still celebrate? My answer is and always will be yes. They may be gone or near gone, but their legacy is meant to live on forever. The memories of childhood, of holidays, of special moments – they live on and nothing should change that. While they were worthy of gifts and accolades before, they are even more worthy now.
Grandparents Day is Sept. 12. Whether your grandparents are living or gone, whether you lived with them or just visited them, whether you had a close relationship or distant, take the time to let their memory and presence live on. Simply search for one of your dearest memories, talk to them about it or talk to someone else. Maybe tell your children a story or visit their gravesite.
There is absolutely nothing in this world like a grandma or grandpa. So, keep celebrating them!