In the early 1980’s, my wife and I found a book called The Grandparents Book. It is a book to be given to grandparents for the grandparents to write down their memories of their life at various stages. Some of it is funny, but some of it is historical. It starts off with where the grandparents were born, where all they went to school, what types of games they played at various ages in their lives, what sports they participated in, and who their parents were and what they were like. It asks them to recount how they met each other and how special that time was. It has them talk about the various jobs and occupations that they had, the highs and lows of their life, and about the kids that they had and their special memories of those children. It goes on and on for pages and pages. With my wife’s grandmother, we would drive her from Lone Star, Kansas, to Wichita, Kansas, for various family outings. On those trips, my wife would go through the questions with her and write out the answers. With my grandparents, we gave them the book, and they really had a blast filling it out. The books filled out by both of those families will stand in our family for years.
If you are a parent or a grandparent, I hope that you will take time to share with your family in writing both the good times and the bad times; the successes, as well as the failures; and the important events, when they happened, and how they affected you and the family.
Once in a while, I see family members that look at their grandparent and view their life based on how they see them at that moment. In fact, that elderly person sitting before them may be a rich reservoir of historical and family observations. Most likely that person has fought and won many battles and has enjoyed great successes.
When I was taking care of my grandmother, I would on occasion remind the people that were caring for her who she was – a woman who had raised three children and eventually buried them all; a woman who had cared for two invalids her entire adult life; a woman who had taken in both her mother and her grandmother and cared for them and never regretted or complained one moment about it; a woman deeply religious and lived that religion every day; a woman who was a wonderful, inspirational grandparent to my children and who taught them what true love is.
So, if you are a grandparent, take some time to write down your memories. Grab something like The Grandparents Book. If you are the child, spend some time with your parents; find out the family history; get it while you can. Everyone will be blessed.