|By Alfie D'Souza, Illinois [ Published Date: September 9, 2012 ]|
By Alfie D'Souza, Illinois ( a tribute article on Grandparents Day)
"What children need most are the essentials that Grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humour, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, they give chocolates and cookies"
Ask any kid: Grandparents rule. They're known worldwide as great companions and often shower their grandchildren with special treats and lots of love. Some kids live far away from their grandparents so they stay in touch by phone, through email, and with letters. Other kids live close to their grandparents, making it easy to visit often. And still quite a few children live with their grandparents, whose parents are working abroad- And these grandparents take care of them in place of their moms or dads.
While I write this article, commemorating ' Grandparents Day ' which is on September 9, I am not saying that we should all respect and love our grandparents just on this Grandparents Day, but I suggest that we should all convey our heartiest feelings, our gratitude, and our emotions towards them all year long and continue it throughout their life. And I bet, that would bring more cheer and joy to their hearts, than offering them flowers, cards, cake etc; It's nice to note that a few kindergarten and Primary schools in the City, have already celebrated ' Grandparents Day ', inviting grandparents to join in the fun with their grand kids. Grandparents are of course God's special gift to children. Grandparent and grandchild relationship is a special one, which makes the world, a little softer, a little kinder, and a little warmer.
I feel proud to say that I am not only a ' Uncle' but also a 'Grandpa' ( don't ask me how ?- that's how I was told ! ) to three kids, Annabelle and Alexis, daughters of my nephew Brian (Las Vegas, USA), and Marcus, the son of my niece Jennifer. Since Marcus is with her mom in New Jersey, USA, but I had the greatest privilege to share the ' Monthi Festh ' ( Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary) with Annabelle and Alexis, along with their mom Viola, and their grandparents Joe and Florine D'Souza ( my brother and sister-in-law) at our family home " Casa De Maria" here in Mangalore--a perfect house name to match the feast of Blessed Mary. It was really a fun to watch these two tiny girls eating the traditional feast lunch on the banana leaf, who were probably wondering what happened to all the dinner plates and silverware!! I love to be their 'Uncle' as well as their 'Grandpa' forever--because they are fun to be with, and of course they are my cute little grand kids.
A grandpa is a wonderful mixture of gentleness and strength, wisdom and understanding, laughter and love. A grandpa is someone with silver in his hair, gold in his heart and sparkle in his eyes. Most of all, grandpas are for loving and fixing things. A grandma is a remarkable woman- a woman of courage, strong faith, and ideals. She always stands up for what's true and what's right, because she knows what's important in life. She has always worked hard, often putting the needs of her family before her own. The love that she feels is more than heart can hold, so it flows out to everyone anywhere near.
Together, as grandpa and grandma, grandparents have a special bond between them and grand-kids. Take look around the City and you will find the scene, especially the grandparents on arduous assignments as child-care providers for their children's children. Go to Kadri park, there you will see many grandparents either pushing a baby stroller, or taking a walk or playing with their grand- kids. Everyone loves grandparents because they care, listen, take hurts away and share endless wisdom and advice.
Being a ' Grandpa' and an ' Uncle' and a ' Great Uncle ' -all at the same time - it is a wonderful privilege. So , while I promise and try my best to show my love and concern for Marcus, Annabelle, and Alexis when they grow up, I hope that they want to be able to reciprocate their love and caring towards me when I get older and possibly need care. Loving and caring for each other can be the glue that keeps everything together. So my humble request to all the grand kids, if your grandparents need help, you might be the one to lend a hand. Don't ignore them, leave them alone or abandon them, that would be ungratefulness on the part of the grand kids.
During the Nativity Feast Mass, Fr John Baptist, assistant parish priest of St, Sebastian's Church, Bendur in his homily said, " It is sad to note that these days many parents and grandparents in their old age are spending their lives in old-age homes, because their children/grandchildren don't want to take care of their aging family members. Children should remember that a family that prays together, stays together. Please take care of your old age family members, and don't neglect and ignore them, and put them in old-age facilities". I strongly agree with Fr. John's comments, and I only wish that the attitude of the children of the present era would change for the betterment of their elderly folks.
There are often loving relationships, but it can be a challenging situation for both the kid and the grandparent. Sometimes, the family is sharing the grandparents' house and sometimes the grandparent moves into the family's house or apartment. Maybe your grandmother moved in with your family because she was having trouble living alone. Or maybe your grandparents take care of you in place of your mom or dad. Or kids who live with their grandparents might miss their parents and wish they could live them instead. At such situation, the grandparents may find it difficult to keep up with a kid and all of his or her needs.
Being a grandparent is a big job, but grandparents have a lot of experience. They raised and cared for your parent when he or she was a kid! And grandparents have been the heads of households since the beginning of time. In many cultures — Native American and Chinese, for instance — grandparents are looked up to as a source of wisdom.
In fact, children should owe a lot to their grandparents. They have the warmth of a parent, the wisdom of the sages, and the heart of a child. They are amongst the most wonderful relations in the life of every person. We should all learn that the history of our grandparents is remembered not with rose petals or gifts on ' Grandparents Day', but in the laughter and tears of their children and their children's children. No doubt grandparents are the blessing from God. We need to respect them with love and gratitude throughout their lives, and take care of them without any second thoughts. Long live the grandparents and may God bless them.