Copyright 2010 by Pearl Watley Mitchell
Grandparents are very special people. l know because my husband and l are grandparents; but, my knowledge of grandparents comes from having been blessed with two sets of "grand" parents of my own who truly enriched my life. My grandparents were wise, hard-living people who loved and cared for me and my siblings as if we were an extension of them. They loved their own children, who were our parents, but they had a special love for us, the grandkids. That love was a total committed love, rooted in wisdom they had gained from raising our parents. This love made us digest anything they said as “pure gospel”. lt made food at their homes taste better, their beds sleep softer and warmer, and their voices more comforting. Their hugs were skilled labors of love.
And stories — man, what stories grandparents could tell - of the old days, before there were cars and electric lights and gas stoves. Their spellbinding stories held kids captive and gave insights into parent childhoods.
And grandparents always had special things at their houses that weren’t around regular homes, like boxfuls of pictures of uncles and cousins and parents, and dirtdobber wasp nests on their porches, and cotton sacks half-full of cotton laying around, animals (chickens, ducks, dogs, cats), and old beautiful dishes.
Even though some grandparents could not read nor drive (only mules and wagons) or do a sixth grade arithmetic problem, they were still bright, smart people who had an answer for almost any problem that arose. They were survivors.
My grandma could make magic things happen, like quilts with exquisite and intricate patterns appearing from a box of old rags, like teacakes that "Nabisco" could not touch rising from a pan of dough and an old wood stove, like tomatoes and carrots coming fresh from the garden, and buttery biscuits popping up under a steamy crust with fried fatback and good homemade jelly.
But the main thing they had were Bibles. Usually just one big one per household, worn from wear, with special verses marked, and little tidbits of interesting information about family, God’s Word, and God himself written in the columns. The love chapter, l Corinthians 13, Grandma’s life philosophy was marked, and a verse about sleeping more than one to a bed for warmth. She used that verse on my six uncles, who had to sleep three to a bed.
Yes, grandparents were and are special people. During my life, I’ve known several older people and couples who were like grandparents to me. Children can form special relationships with elderly people and enrich each other’s lives. There is a bond that spans the range of life from Alpha to Omega, beginning to end.
My advice to parents is: if your children have
grandparents, do everything possible to provide your children time
with them. If not, do your family a favor and adopt a set of
grandparents. It’s the stuff of which memories are made.
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Pearl's Story List and Biography