Friday, April 25, 2008

Grandparents are a gift.

Wednesday evening PC and I went to visit his Grandma Coleman, and while he has seen her recently, it has been quite some time since I have had a visit with her. I was sort of dreading the visit after work as I was tired, and just not in very good form, but nonetheless, we went, and I was so glad we did.

PC's grandma lives in a seniors complex... where she has access to nurses and staff who can look after her, but she is definitely still self-sufficient for the most part, and still very active. I always find visiting her a treat... she has a great sense of humour, and she tells it like it is! We spent almost 2 hours with her, and the time flew by... as its never hard to find things to talk about.

Visiting with her, reminded me so much of my own grandparents... especially my late Grandma Wilson. I think I specifically single out my Grandma Wilson because it wasn't until I became a young adult that I actually appreciated my Grandma, and treasured the time I had with her.

When I was younger and all of my grandparents were alive, I loved each of them, but never fully respected them as much as I did my Grandma Wilson. My grandfathers died while I was in public school... and while I have fond memories of both of them, I was not old enough to appreciate them as individuals and the contributions that they made to my life. My Grandma Bellerose, died at an unfortunate time in my life. It was early in my high school career - when I was 'too cool' to realize that she wasn't going to be around forever, and I always viewed going to visit her as more of a chore rather than a privilege. I have always regretted not making more of attempt to visit her and do things for her, especially in the latter stage of her life, but I guess these are the life lessons you learn as you grow up.

After my Grandma Bellerose past away, I slowly realized my Grandma Wilson was my only living grandparent left, and I think this is when it hit me - just how important grandparents are to their grandchildren. For me... visiting with my Grandma Wilson and hearing the stories she would tell about when she was younger, or about when my Mom was a little girl, are all conversations I will hold dear to my heart. After my Grandpa Wilson past away, I think her life really changed... she was not the same person, she did not have the same zest for life that she did when she was with him... but she was still a wonderful person, with a kind heart, who always thought of her family first, and herself second. I think she was lonely to an extent, which always made the surprise visits to see her much more special. Even on the days when either of us had much news to share, I never found it hard to talk to her... and for that I will always be grateful.

She is a person who I think of often, a person that I wish was around to see me get married, and to meet her great-grandchildren, because I know she would have been over-joyed to be apart of these experiences. I often remark to PC 'my Grandma Wilson would have really like you', because I know she would have - and deep down I feel like somehow she does know him, and she is very much apart of our lives, watching over us, and helping us make our way through life.

All of this thinking about grandparents has really made me think about what I want for my children, and how I hope my children will know how lucky they are to have living grandparents. I hope my parents and PC's parents live well into the future, and that someday my children will be able to fully appreciate the joy of having grandparents, and the gift they can bring to their lives. Not everyone has the privilege (and it is really a privilege) to have grandparents, and this is why I think its so important to value these relationships and treat the time you have with these special individuals in your life, as a gift.

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