The moments with grandparents


After spending a few days with my maternal grandfather, I reflected on what a blessing it is to have had grandparents in my life. There’s something humbling and beautiful about those moments you share with the people who raised your parents, and in part, raised you.

Grandpa is now 90 years old and likes his vegemite spread right to the very corners of his square toast. He likes to boast about how he still catches bigger fish than his younger friends. The cataracts are forming, but he smiles in wonderment when I show him his very own house on Google street view.

My father’s mother (Nana) is 87 years old and makes the best egg sandwiches. She’s had three hip replacement operations and can’t bend down, so I do up her Velcro shoes and pass her the crutches before she gives me a seasonal tour of the garden, with all the latest commentary on the roses and the neighbours.

In these moments I feel a bright, inner smile. It doesn’t cross my mind to check my phone, or flick through Facebook. If anything makes me feel humble, grateful and happy, it’s being in the calm and graceful company of my grandparents.

Do you have a special place in your heart for a grandparent?

I’d love to hear your stories below.


13 Responses to “The moments with grandparents”
  1. What a beautiful piece. Sadly, I had lost all of my grandparents by the time I finished school. Often young people seem to see spending time with their grandparents as more of a chore than a blessing, which is sad because our time with our grandparents is limited. Hopefully your words will inspire those lucky enough to have their grandparents around to really appreciate them.

    • sarina says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. As you say, time is limited and valuable with them. I also hope others can be reminded of this.

      • I have been lucky enough to have lived with one of my grandparents for several years, he said we were great housemates as he needed help making his bed and appreciated someone reminding him when to take his medication, and i said we were great housemates because he enjoyed cooking and i enjoyed having a home cooked meal.

        Grandparents are such amazing people to have in our lives, I’m still learning to this day new things about them. I found out last week that granddad use to me a lifeguard on the northern beaches when he was younger but traveled from Straithfeild everyday cause he loved the beach so much.

        There are a lot of us that are without grandparents, but don’t forget there are elderly out there that don’t have children and grandchildren, or are living in different states and countries. There are organisations already in place to bridge to gap between the elderly and young adulthood such as GoodGym, Grandfriend and ManShed.

        Remember Isolation and Loneliness increase death risk in the elderly.
        Be Kind and Step Up and help those in need.

  2. sarina says:

    That’s wonderful, I too lived with my Nana for two years, which I loved and found out so much about her life before she even had children.

    You make a great point about elderly people without grandchildren – or even without grandchildren they are close to. I will have a look at the organisations you suggested, I’m interested in the ‘bridging the gap’ concept.

  3. Look into Grandfriend, it’s the most relevant. Goodgym hasn’t gotten very large in Australia yet it’s based in england and it’s about forming bonds between elderly people who need company and younger people wanting a reason to do exercise, which in this case is running between there homes. ManShed is locally based but its mainly between for elderly men who have down sized and don’t have a shed to do guy stuff so it involves old and young exchanging knowledge.

  4. Eshita says:

    I liked your topic!!!! I didn’t meet my maternal grandfather only. We all (cousins) had the same experience with our paternal grandfather. He used to call us to read the newspaper for him specially at our playing time. We never liked that. It was our duty to make the news shorter. He could not see well, so we could take the chance. We used to finish reading the newspaper by 20 minutes somehow. We all did the same thing. It still makes us laugh.

    Both of my grandmothers lived with us for a long time. When they started to live at my late teenage life, I thought my life was going to be horrible. They will start to criticize about my every movement. But, they didn’t!!! I was very surprised if they needed any advice they always called me, not anyone else in the family. I was their central part to share everything and we three were a pretty good gang. I still miss those days. That was one of the golden time in my life:)

    • sarina says:

      That’s very sweet, thank you Eshita! It’s interesting how the dynamic between grandchildren and grandparents changes over time. We realise how we have influenced their lives and vice versa. I love the anecdote about reading the paper for your grandfather – these are things that annoy us when we are young, but we appreciate when we are older.

  5. rekindlekindness says:

    What a lovely post, it gave me goosebumps!. Its moments like these that make you feel happy and content and allow you to carry on with life’s troubles with a sense of purpose and determination. Unfortunately I no longer have any of my grandparents, but even just the thought of them, that I would be making them proud, making the laugh or making them angry gives me a sense of guidance and inspires me to do the right thing. I think it is very hard to not want to please, impress and make your grandparents proud of you. They are so genuine, innocent and warm-hearted and spending time with them makes you want to be that kind of person as well- which is amazing.

    • sarina says:

      Hi, you are right, these lovely moments do seem to make the trivial worries in our lives disappear and give us greater perspective. We are very lucky to have had grandparents that make us feel this way and who have given us memories to treasure.

  6. I definitely wish I had appreciated my grandparents more – this especially hit me when my grandfather passed away recently and on his deathbed I realised I didn’t really know the man.

    Since then I’ve made sure to speak to my existing grandparents and appreciate their company.

    • sarina says:

      Hi Jessica, thank you for your honest comment. There was a time when I too did not appreciate my grandparents. I think many of us go through a stage like that when we are young.

      Next time you see a grandparent, ask them about their life as a child, a teenager, or even a parent – it’s so humbling and fascinating to hear their stories and I’ve found it to be an incredible way to learn about them as people.

  7. Rachel White says:

    By the time I was 21 all four of my grandparents had passed away. I was especially close to my Dad’s mum and when she passed away I was overwhelmed by a deep sadness because she had such a tough life. We shared a love of books and old films and our curly hair. I miss her a lot and wish that she was able to have the opportunities I’ve had in my life.

    • sarina says:

      Hi Rachel,
      Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry to hear that. I imagine that the deep sadness came from a deep love you had for her. It’s wonderful that you are able to remember her through books, films and even your own appearance!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: