Coming Soon - Grandparent's DayWritten by Carol Rice
It seems fitting that if we have a celebration called Mother's Day, and one called Father's Day that we would have a special day for the ones who really started it all – Grandparent's Day.
This September 13th, to celebrate Grandma and Grandpa, how about finding out some of their stories.
Recently, my daughter was asked to do some public speaking. She wanted to share some thoughts of her grandma. It's interesting how answering a simple question like, “describe how grandma dressed,” brought up a host of other memories for her. She did a great job with her talk, but just as important, as a result, she took time to write and share her memories. Here's some of the story she shared:
“Picture with me my grandma’s closet. It was not like a normal closet, it was more like a room. Because it was in the top of the house, the ceiling slanted with the pitch of the roof and there were pockets and cubbies you could hide in as a little seven year old girl. However, this day it wasn’t the cubbies that attracted my cousin Chelsea and I. It was that this closet was full of my grandma’s beautiful things - she was feminine and beautiful; the kind of woman that wore pearls with jeans. In the back of the closet was a jewelry chest that was about as tall as our seven and nine year old selves. It had little drawers and in one of the drawers was tiny, differently shaped bottles of colored liquids, perfume samples. We were looking at them, touching them, trying to be so careful when we heard our grandma walk in. We placed them back in the drawer, not because we were so much scared that she was going to see us, because she never seemed to get mad at us, but more because we were embarrassed we’d been caught.
She smiled when she saw us and walked into the closet. She knelt down and took out two little perfumes, she told me “Oh Brookie, you have olive skin and a wise personality, this perfume will smell perfect on you”, and “Chelsea, you have a kind heart, and beautiful eyes, this smell will fit you.” She taught us to dab two spots on our wrist, and one on our neck and rub it together. I felt beautiful, like my grandma. Fast forward with me two years, I was now nine, and my grandma, only 58, had fought a hard and valiant fight with cancer. Her thick full blonde hair was gone, her beautiful feminine figure now frail and thin. It was time for all of us cousins to come into her hospital room and say goodbye. We sang to her Families Can Be Together Forever. I had been taught the words in primary and I knew them to be true. I had been taught by my parents how the Spirit felt, and I knew it was there. That moment, and my love for my grandma, has stayed with me and will linger forever - just like the sweet smell of her perfume.”
Anyone that story is shared with, friends, cousins, siblings, future children and grandchildren, will be able to know, just a little bit more, about Brooke's grandma because she told this story.
A name, photo, piece of memorabilia, or any heirloom item - will always be more meaningful when a story accompanies it. The best way to preserve memories of your grandparents - tell it to those you love.
Here's a few prompts to help get some of your own memories and stories started this Grandparent's Day:
1. Describe your grandparents home and memories of visiting/traveling to it.
2. Describe how your grandparents looked, what they wore, smells you remember, how they moved. Did they talk fast/loud, or quiet/slow?
3. What names of endearment did your grandparents use with you, each other, your parents?
4. Did you ever learn an important lesson with/from your grandma/grandpa? Tell about the circumstances.
I grew up in a home rich with family heritage. My mom loved genealogy and knew how to breathe life into dusty documents and color to faded black and white photos - my mom told me stories.
As a grown woman with five children of my own, I've tried to do the same. For years I did it through scrapbooking. But it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't my artistic skills my children really cared about. They never stopped on a page and said, "Mom, you matched that paper to my shirt - perfectly!" Nope. What they did say as they leaned across my lap, pointing at photos is, "Tell me the story!" "Tell me mom about the day I was born... Tell me mom about the day I cried when everyone sang me happy birthday... Tell me mom about my grandma and her garden..."
Don't worry if you haven't done it forever, just start today. The consistency and cumulative effect of one good question - just sharing one story a day, adds up.
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