I like to think this is the effect I have on my grandchildren. I know my own grandparents certainly put the magic in my existence. Thoughts of them will find their way into the quiet moments of any random day, memories that float to mind as softly as the butterflies danced in my grandmothers' gardens. They are all welcome and beautiful when they arrive.
Both sets of grandparents were country folk, born and raised — three of German descent, one of English. The latter gave up agriculture for a career in the trades, while his wife, like all women of those times, kept the homefires burning. My paternal grandparents, however, stayed on the farm, giving this townie an opportunity to experience the open air and spaces of the pastoral landscape.
Though very different in personalities, my grandmas and grandpas provided, each in their own way, the calm in the storm. As the youngest child by many years in a family of five I often as a child felt overwhelmed by the presence of adults. They always seemed larger than life. Not to mention, a tad imposing. My naive chatter was typically lost in the swirl of conversation that centred around more grownup topics, such as work and interpersonal relationships.
Oddly, however, that was never the feeling when I was in the company of my grandparents. Despite that fact that hard work and times had made them older than today's typical sexagenarian, they seemed to understand what it meant to be kid better than Mom and Dad, or my teenage brother and sister did. When I spoke, they listened. When I walked, they walked with me, regardless of my pace or how often I stopped.
While work was a principle facet of their lifestyle, they were never too busy to pause when I asked. Grandpa Matthews would take my cousin and I onto his knee for songs, poetry or to draw pictures of his beloved horses for us. There was always time for a snack of cookies and cream soda when we found our way to Grandma's kitchen. At the country grandparents, I trailed behind as we wandered the orchards and gardens, the barns and fields. There were never too many questions asked.
To this day I will be comforted by the fragrance of bread warm from the oven, by the sight of a deep-dish pie, a crocheted afghan, a needlepoint picture. They bring me closer to these still loved, long remembered people whom I was blessed to have in my life for a time.
So it is these kinds of memories I hope my young grandchildren will have some day of their moments spent with my husband and me. I hope they remember two people who guided gently, who listened wholeheartedly, who hug tightly and loved fiercely.
Next Sunday is Grandparents Day. To know them is to love them. To have them is the best. To hold on to them as long as possible is to be truly blessed. We celebrate the love and joy they give and bring to us in these great clipart collections: