Children, what do you know about your grandparents? Grandparents, what do you know about your grandchildren? Grandpa and Grandma can have a very special relationship with their grandchildren that will be with those young people for their entire lives. It takes special effort to stay connected in this day and age, when so many of us live so many miles apart. Even so, however much effort it may take, there are many ways to accomplish this.
I knew all four of my grandparents, and they were alive for a good part of my growing-up years. I have also had the example of my parents spending time with my children. So, I know how important it is for grandparents and grandchildren to be a part of each other’s lives, when this is possible. As I have grown older, I have come to realize more and more each day just how much influence my grandparents have had on my life. My grandparents spent many hours with my two sisters and with me. They loved us, and we loved them, and our parents taught us to respect them in every way.
My grandmothers spent many hours cooking and baking for us, and teaching us other skills like canning and crocheting—which I still enjoy today, and have passed on to my granddaughters. Grandma Ochs did not have any recipes for the things she baked, but I spent time with her and wrote down ingredients and the directions for many items she made. She has been gone a long time now, but our daughters and I still enjoy making many of the things she made that we loved so much. Doing this brings back many memories, and is a part of our family heritage.
Many memories also come flooding into my mind from time spent with my Grandpa and Grandma Ochs, like fishing trips to Northern Wisconsin—fishing all day, and in the evening playing Canasta by the lantern light in our cottage after hauling water from the pump (which was my job). These are precious remembrances, and I treasure them.
My Grandpa Lorenz thought I cut his small plot of grass in the city, with a push grass cutter, better than any of my cousins! It is funny what we remember as a child. Talk about those memories with your grandchildren now. They love to hear all the stories you can remember. They love to hear them over and over again, and we like to tell them over and over again!
Music has been a part of life for every member of our family for many years, and has added many hours of enjoyment and shared fun in so many ways. Whenever we get together there is always music, and we are continuing that heritage with our grandchildren.
If your children do not have any grandparents living, encourage them to get to know and spend time with the elderly. Many older people appreciate children coming to sit and talk for a while. It works both ways, being beneficial to the children as well. It is good that we as grandparents make the effort to love and spend time with children, and it is also good for children to reach out and do the same for the elderly.
Grandchildren and grandparents are a special blessing to each other, and I want to pass on to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren all I can about our family heritage, while making new memories with them as long I am able.