Monday, 4 April 2011

G is for... Grandparents

I haven't done one of my A to Z posts for a while.  This one has been sat, unfinished for ages now - I've been waiting on us all being well enough to go up in the loft and dig out some old photos. With it being an A to Z I couldn't exactly skip to H and I knew what I wanted to do for G.  


My daughter happens to be my parents only Grandchild.  It's the same for my husbands parents too.  I know they all desperately longed for a Grandchild (some more openly than others).  In some ways I feel sorry that I left it later in my life to have a family as I realise that my mum and dad, in particular, are getting a lot older now - both 66 this year.

I was lucky enough to have my Grandparents in my life until I was into my 20's and 30's and it's something I'll always be thankful for.  I hope that Mini Cheddar gets to experience that too.

Photo credit: I.ona
My Dads parents lived near us most of my life.  They moved up from Luton where we had moved from when my Mum was pregnant with me and so they lived right around the corner from us for many years. When my Mum went back to work (when I was about 6 years old I think) my Sister and I would go to their house every day after school. My Grandma would always be making homemade soup and I can still almost taste it through my memories alone.  I vividly remember the brown 70's style crockery sets that we used to eat soup and sandwiches from. Grandad would be watching Crossroads on the TV and Snowy the budgie would be chirping away.  Such fond memories.

They were called Grandma and Grandad Fishes by us as they had a pond in their garden which was filled with fish (and frogs).  I still refer to them like that now. Grandad Fishes developed Alzheimer's and passed away when I was about 24. Grandma followed 6 months later. They were in their 70's when they died. I still have a big heavy necklace with a watch in it that used to be my Grandmas. I miss them both.

My Mums parents were very active and went ballroom dancing and on holidays abroad until they were well past their 70's.  They were my Nan (Nan didn't ever want to be called Grandma) and Grandad Balloons because he always had balloons for us to play with when we were little.  They lived in Luton and stayed in Luton so we didn't get to see them as much. The times we did share with them were always so fun-filled though.  When we had stayed with them and were coming to say goodbye, Nan used to secretly stuff £5 or £10 notes into our hands (which was a lot of money back then).  She always used to be so generous as she said she used to take our cousins - who lived in Luton - out quite a lot but we missed out. 

I think because they were so active they lived long and healthly lives. They even made it to their 60th Wedding Anniversary and received a telegram from The Queen. Sadly Nan developed pancreatic cancer when she was 86 and passed away in October 2007.  Grandad followed less than 2 months later at the ripe old age of 91.  He died doing what he loved - going for his daily walk.  I'll never forget getting that phone call in work from my Dad to tell me the news.  I was devastated as I'd only driven all the way down to Luton (from North Wales) a couple of days beforehand to spend the day with Grandad and he was so spritely. Again, I miss them both.

I have to stop and think sometimes and be more accepting of our parents wanting to spend time with our daughter.  Time is so precious and my daughter gets so much happiness from spending time with them. I'm thankful that they want to be there for our daughter as I have some friends who don't have that in their life. I can't imagine what that must be like.

There is no denying - Grandparents are precious. My daughter is lucky enough to have 4 loving and doting Grandparents in her life. I was so lucky to have 4 wonderful Grandparents in my life for so long and I miss them all dearly.

"Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation" 
~Lois Wyse

Part of my A to Z posts
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Manic Mum said...

great idea, a-z! what u gonna do for x, xylophone???!!!

lovely post, i felt really sad, not in a bad way, buit because grandparents are just so wonderful aren't they? something so dependable and comfy...

great to read about ur g'rents, really interesting.

tamsyn xxx


JoJo said...

I love my grandparents too. lovely post. xxx

Lauren "Real Housewife" said...

Ohhhhh I have tears in my eyes reading this xx I love the photos of your grandparents.
I only got to meet one of my grandads, we have lots of photos of him interacting with my brother and me when we were toddlers but my "fresh" memories of him are him being in pain and grumpy. I'm very jealous of you knowing/having two grandads.

I love your A-Z. Been meaning to ask you when the next instalment would be. Loved it :-) xx

Inside the Wendy House said...

That's lovely. I lost my last surviving grandparent in 2008 aged 98 years old. She was such a character! My kids see my parents weekly but MIL and FIL live on the Isle of Man and only get across twice a year.
I might be a grandparent soon!!! Eldest and his girlfriend are starting to think about starting a family....imagine that!!!!

alysonsblog said...

I lost all my grandparents pretty young, but that doesnt mean that i dont remember them so fondly. Especially my nana i used to spend every friday and saturday with her til she died suddenly and unexpectedly when i was not much older than lucy, but i adored her like no other, cherish freyas grandparents, the relationship she will have with them is so special and utterly unique and they are blessed to have her

Tai Tai said...

Beautiful!!! xx

Mrs E said...

I am lucky to have all four of my grandparents still, although they are getting quite frail now, so I am thrilled that my little one has been able to meet them.
This is a heart warming post which makes you want to pick up the phone and give them a call. Which I am going to do now! x

Reluctant Housedad said...

This is such a poignant subject. My children's grandparents are in their late 70s and 80s and live 250 miles away. Every time we see them - about three times a year - we wonder how many more times. It's really upsetting, but massively important that our kids form connections with them. I wrote about this very thing on my blog last week after our annual Easter weekend trip. I think it affects a hell of a lot of people. Very powerful post. Thanks for re-posting

multiplemummy said...

What a fabulous post. Thank you for reminding me of things that are truly important. x

jennie said...

I miss my Nan and Granddad every day and wish that they had lived to see me meet David, finish Uni and have Esther and William. I loved them so much and would give anything to still be able to share my life with them x

TheBoyandMe said...

Oh that is such a lovely post, and one that I feel very strongly about. I don't have any of my grandparents anymore, the last one died a couple of years ago now. I miss my maternal grandparents greatly. I am very aware that my parents are mid 60s and I'm hoping that The Boy is going to have them for another 10-20 years yet, but I am desperately trying to build as many memories as possible.

Thanks for linking this up to SOSC!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Lovely to read this - I also kept my grandparents into my 20s and 30s and I really appreciated my Granny during the last years of her life: she died just a month before the birth of my eldest. Sadly my own children have already lost one grandparent - my Mum - and they don't remember how lovely she was before she got dementia. One day I'll write a post about her x

amysmyth said...

It's so refreshing to hear such a nice post about grandparents when I so often hear people complain about them. Good on you!


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