Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 10.
Since 1978, Grandparents Day has been a secular holiday commemorating the important contributions seniors have contributed throughout history. And no contribution is more important than the enduring relationships many have shared with their grandchildren.
I enjoy looking at old pictures – especially black and white images of family members I’ve never had the opportunity to know beyond stories passed down through the generations.
Unfortunately, sometimes all we’re left with are dozens of family photographs, which are missing the narrative that makes them come alive.
And while history books have aptly captured prominent times in our nation’s illustrious past, once the elders in our own families are gone, so are the stories and the glories of our own legacy.
My last living grandparent, my grandmother Madeline Ruvere, passed away a little over 4 years ago now. Sadly, there’s no longer anyone around to answer the questions about our family’s history – to bring so many treasured photographs to life with a personal story line.
And while I did an admirable job asking as many questions as possible when she was alive, there are always more questions you wished you would’ve asked when you had the chance.
One photograph my grandmother always treasured was from June 25th, 1949 – her sister Norma’s wedding day. It served as the only existing photo where my grandmother, her parents and her eight brothers and sisters were all captured together.
It’s a beautiful remembrance, capturing her family in elegant dresses and classic suits looking cheerful as could be. I’m happy to say that photograph is now displayed in my home in an appropriate antique finished frame.
Whenever I find myself sitting next to it, I take a few minutes to stare at the faces before me and smile.
Remembering those who came before
I appreciate my parents raising me to appreciate and respect my grandparents – to be attentive to them, to contribute to their lives and cherish their existence as long as we had them around.
Without their encouragement, I would’ve missed out on invaluable relationships I still miss each and every day.
You see in my own small way, I am a part of my grandparent’s legacy – an extension of them, which will live on even though their lives have come to an end.
There’s no greater gift than showing those who have helped nurture and grow your family tree just how proud you are to have a place in the history book of their lives.
Jay Kesler once said, “Young people need something stable to hang on to – a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them.” And so, I celebrate Agnes, Madeline and Howie for providing my life with all of the above and so much more. I miss you guys dearly.
Happy Grandparents Day!