This young woman describes the important role her grandparents played in raising her and what they mean to her today-even with adolescent bumps along the road.
Ever since the day I was born, my grandparents have played a very big role in my upbringing. Not only were they there for me when I was in need physically, but they were also there for me emotionally as well. Throughout every stage of my life, my grandparents gifted me with their presence and care. As cheesy as this may sound, I really don’t know what I would do without them.
For example, whenever my brother and I were on a school break, my grandma would cook lunch for my grandpa, brother and I. Even to this day I would say that her food is the best! She would always ensure that my brother and I were well fed. At nighttime, my brother and I would rest our heads on her lap and fall asleep. This continued until our heads became too heavy and my grandma started having leg cramps! From then on, every night before I went to bed, I made sure that I got to kiss my grandma goodnight and then say goodnight over and over again until she closed the door.
My father had always told me that my grandpa was a very strict father. My father would also tell me that my grandpa rarely smiled. Every time I saw my grandpa though, he would have a large smile on his face and greet me with a hug. He never punished me nor raised his voice to me. In fact, whenever I felt that I was being mistreated by my parents or if something had seemed to be unfair, my grandpa would be the first person I would turn to. Whenever I’d run to him crying, he would always have open arms and listening ears. After listening to my story, he would always comfort me. My grandparents were my childhood.
When my grandpa passed away, I was asked to move in with my grandma in her suite. I had a little look into the granny flat approval cost in Sydney to see if she wanted to come and live with me instead. This meant she would have her own space still, she could do as she pleases and she’d only be at the bottom of the garden. She was very eager at first but then couldn’t quite let go of the home she and my grandpa had lived in. She decided to stay in her own home and I could not find any reason why I couldn’t stay with her. After all, it is probably the least I could do for my grandma. After moving in with her though, I realized that my attitude towards her had begun to change. In fact, I am quite ashamed of how I treat her most of the time.
For example, during the school term, I would spend a majority of my time in the upstairs living room to complete papers and readings. On many occasions though, my grandma would feel lonely watching television alone in her suite so she would come upstairs to join me. When she comes upstairs, she would always ask me, “Is it okay to watch television up here with you? Would it be too loud and distracting?” My response to her would always be, “No, it won’t distract me. Of course you can watch television up here.” With this being said, I acknowledge that every time that these words come out of my mouth, my heart did not speak the same. Rather than wholeheartedly welcoming my grandma and enjoying her presence, often I become upset because I knew that I would no longer be able to focus on my school work.
Another example of my poor attitude can be seen at times when my grandma asks for specific details of my activities each day. Before every semester, my grandma asks me to write out a copy of my class schedule so that she know where I will be during each day. Besides giving her the schedule, each morning I am also required to give her a full account of where I will be going, who I will be with, what specifically I will be doing, and when each activity will be done. After giving her a full account of my day, she always says to me, “Be careful!”
She was telling me this for one reason. She cared. She cared about what I would get up to in the day and wanted to make sure that I always remained safe. As much as I didn’t want to hear it at times, I know that I wouldn’t receive the same sort of care that she was giving me if she lived in a senior living facility, similar to La Posada – you can learn more here. This is where my friend’s grandparents live and she tells me that even though they are living their best life in this community, she wishes more than anything that she could hear their words of wisdom on a daily basis. And that is when I knew that I needed to change.
As anyone could see, her actions are simply a demonstration of kindness. The only reason why someone would be so concerned with your life is because they genuinely and truly care for you and love you. The problem here is that I can’t always see this truth. Instead of seeing these actions as acts of love, I become annoyed. In my selfishness, I constantly fail to see that by giving up a little bit of time to share about my day to my grandma, I am giving her reassurance for the entire day that she would otherwise have spent being worried about me.
Although my attitude towards my grandma is the complete opposite of what she truly deserves, I acknowledge that this needs to be changed. Instead of being selfish, I need to learn to say the words “thank you” from the heart.
Grandma, thank you for putting up with who I am. Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for your love.
This is #1000families post number 182. Do you have a family story of your own to contribute to the 1,000 Families Project? Or do you know a family that might want to do so? Learn more about how the series got started and how to get involved here. You can find all of the #1000families posts here.
We wrote an e-book called 11 Ways to Keep Your Family Weeknights From Spinning Out of Control. To get it for FREE, simply subscribe to our newsletter recapping the best of thenewfamily.com and the podcast!