Monday, July 20, 2009

Memories of grandparents

Watching the news on Friday, one of the reporters commented about being his grandparents remote control to change the station to watch Walter Cronkite's news.

That made me think about memories that children have of spending time with their grandparents. I don't have a lot of memories of grandparents. Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. I have vague, grainy memories of my maternal grandmother. I think I was less than eight when she died. My strongest memory is of my standing in the kitchen when she made potato soup. She lived with us at the time, but that is the only real memory I have of her. I have memories of her presence, but not of her.

My fraternal grandmother died when I was about sixteen. I used to go out to her house and stay frequently, and I do have some memories of her. The strongest is sleeping with her at night. She would pull out her dime novel which was a paperback western (probably what they were called - don't really know). I would have something to read also - probably a comic book, and we would lay there under the reading lamp attached to the head board.

Something happened with the relationship between my parents and my grandmother. Of course, I was a child who was totally self involved. The world revolved around me. This is a situation that I have come to hate at this point in my life. I wish I had listened to stories about family and the like. I was sure my parents would be around forever. Well, forever came sooner than I thought with my mother's death from cancer at 57, and still I didn't take advantage of having my dad. When he developed Dementia at the age of about 88 (dementia is strange - it creeps up), it was too late for me to get information from him.

All this brings me to something else. Last week, when I was over at Susan's Grandparent Blog ,
she was talking about parents having to detox their children after a visit to the grandparents. I think the relationship between children and their grandparents is so special, and I may feel that way because mine was so limited.

I am so lucky. Three of my grandchildren live a mile away, and the fourth lives about 10 miles away. I can see them whenever I want. I usually don't see them except for Sunday dinners. I don't really keep them for extended periods because they are right here. When I do have them, I will admit that I spoil them to a certain extent, but I do try to keep the parental rules in mind. In some cases, I probably spoil less than the parents.

I just think that grandparents are here to be something special to children. My children had a bit more of their grandparents than I had. They had their step grandmother until about six years ago, my dad until about 3 years ago, their other grandfather until 2 years ago, and the other grandmother is still alive. They spent time with all of them. I am delighted that my grandchildren spend time with us.

I hope their memories will be vibrant and good.



judemiller1 said...

My paternal grandma lived just down the road--she was widowed at 48. I was her only grandchild and a source of comfort and companionship to her. She called me "Precious" until the day she died--I was 27 and I miss her to this day!!!
She had one of those lamps on the headboard of her bed too--we slept together. Strange, but none of my grandchildren have slept with me--I have a guest room or the couch--I would NEVER consider letting them sleep with me--why is that?

Grandma K said...

Jude - I think it's because they take up the entire bed. Usually when Lady Bug stays, she will sleep with me. She takes most of a king sized bed! I'm surprised she can sleep in her twin at home without falling out.