National Grandparents Day was celebrated last month on Sept. 11th, 2016. This special day to honor grandparents was initiated by Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade in 1970. It was first celebrated in West Virginia in 1973, and later US Congress passed legislation in 1978 to celebrate National Grandparents Day on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Of note, September was chosen for this holiday as this month coincides with the “autumn years” of life.
Over the past several weeks, my thoughts have drifted towards how special grandparents can be in the lives of our children; because during this month, I will be remembering the passing of my dad exactly 20 years ago. He was a very humble man with a large servant’s heart who touched many lives. Sadly, my children have never met their grandfather, and will never hear him telling stories or spend time with him on a fishing trip. My father passed away several months before my eldest son was born. Their only knowledge of him has been gleaned from the times I shared from my own memories, and from pictures of him.
As the autumn season continues over the next several months, I encourage you to find time for your children to visit with their grandparents. Grandparents truly have a special relationship with their grandchildren; there is so much wisdom and experience that grandparents can share with the young ones. Even if there may be different opinions to parenting, grandparents have a wealth of love to share with their grandchildren.
One tip to help keep this relationship special is to teach your children to be respectful towards their grandparents, and to be appreciative whenever they receive something from their grandparents. I also would encourage grandparents to share their stories and life experiences in a written form; and thus their legacy may be shared for many generations to come.