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Monday, September 8, 2014

One Day Past Grandparents Day

Ken adn I and our four grandchildren a few years ago

Yesterday was Grandparents Day. In 1973, West Virginian Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade started this day to recognize grandparents. It was a grassroots movement, never made official by our federal government. She and her husband had 15 children,43 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Seems rather obvious why she felt it important to honor grandparents.

Mrs. McQuade had three purposes for establishing this holiday that still hasn't received the national attention that Mother's Day and Father's Day have done:

   1.  To honor grandparents.2
   2.  To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children
   3.  To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

This evening, I'm giving a program at the women's group at my church titled "Remembering Our Grandparents." I only knew 2 of my own grandparents. My father's parents passed away long before I was born. And the two I had were only part of my life for a very few years. Grandpa died when I was 9 and Grandma soon after my 12th birthday. Even so, I have vivid memories of both of them.  And I've written stories about them for my Family Memories Book. 

What about you? Did you have 4 grandparents? Or fewer? Or did you have grandparents and step-grandparents? Did they influence your life in any way? Mine certainly did, even in the handful of years I knew them. Grandma taught me life lessons that I still use today. One of the stories I'll read tonight is centered on what I learned at Grandma's bakery when I was very young. Obviously, I was impressionable as I remember so many things of the many hours spent in the back room of the bakery. 

The other story I'll read deals with the terminal illness my grandfather had, my grandmother's care for him at that time even though they'd been separated many years, and a short but memorable visit I had with both of them at that time. The visit brought on by a dying man's wish to see his granddaughter once more. 

Have you included stories about your own grandparents in your Family Memories Book? If you haven't, it's time to start thinking about doing so. What fun it would be for your own grandchildren (or your children) to read about your grandparents and how they influenced your life. 

My grandmother, Elizabeth Doonan Studham

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