Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Why We Should All Make the Most of the Time we Have with Our Grandparents . . .

What are the first few words you think of when you imagine your grandparents? Cute? Old? Generous even? Or how about some of the less forgiving titles we give to the old folk . . . Tight? Boring? Perhaps you might call them record breaking - not least because you come across as a broken record each time you tut and insist, 'You just can't take them anywhere.' But is this all they are?

You know, everything which we go through today, they went through years ago. And most of them came out at the other end. This fact in itself advocates just how much we shouldn't take them for granted. Can you imagine the amount of insight which can be drawn from the elderly? You may be broken-hearted, or struggling at school, or hating your job, thinking that it can't get any worse. Well, guess what. Our grandparents managed to solve these problems in their own ways WHILST dealing with the aftermath of a World War!

Basically, this Blog is here to remind everybody just how valuable our grandparents are.

I hate to hear people refer to pensioners as 'old biddies' or 'bags'. I mean, everyone can make a joke right? But when a genuine dislike for someone or something which they do manifests itself in a discrimination of age unfairly, I get really annoyed.

People should be judged on their personalities. The old cliché of 'it's what's on the inside that counts' was probably taught to us by our grandparents. Somewhat of an old-wives-tale, it is quite true. Somewhere out there, there is a grandfather who invented something amazing, a grandmother who was an amazing pianist, or both who co-wrote some Earth-shattering novel. It may seem to some that I am only referring to every one in a million, but I really am not. In the same way as we are destined for great things, each one of our grandparents will have achieved at least one inspirational thing in their long lives.

Those of us who are lucky enough to have at least one grandparent around should hear this message, and go out of our ways to give our grandparents the time of day.

And what if your grandparents are no longer around? What if they did something you weren't proud of? What if they died? Well, that's OK. The memories that us and others have of them and their lives can live on if we are tenacious enough not to forget, to consider their lives as we shape our own. From their mistakes and their successes to their lessons learned and their risks taken; each offers an opportunity to put new risks into practise, to make our own mistakes having learned how not to make theirs, to appreciate our successes and to deeper explore what they had interest enough in to sit and learn.

It has been proposed since my grandfathers death last month, that a hospital ward will be named after him since he was one of the leading consultants in his prime. Despite his absence now, I know that I will always remember with pride his conscientiousness, pro-activity and selflessness in his better moments, because the short times that I spent with him and my beautiful Abuela were made the most of. The times I spent sitting around his feet, listening to his stories, asking him questions, learning Spanish songs with my Abuela and bonding over the return of fashions from her day feature some of the most consciously present in my mind. I wont make the same mistakes they made, I will use the solutions which they arrived to after problematic situations in my own life and each time I will know why this is best.

We will ALL be old one day. Unless of course we are unfortunate enough to die a young death. So next time you are driving behind an old lady and she is going a little slower than you would like, have a little patience. She probably knows more, has seen more and has experienced more than you will until you are her age. Have respect.

Send my love to your grandparents if they are still around. If not, then say a prayer. I'm sure that if they can hear it, they will appreciate it. They wont be around for ever you know, and when they eventually pass it will be a lot easier to deal with if you know enough about them to allow them to live on in the choices you make, the decisions you take and ultimately, your heart.

Don't allow yourself to get dragged into the trap of regret when it is too late. For a final old-wives-tale, you really don't know what you've got until it's gone.

Much Love

1 comment:

  1. so much truth in this entry