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Celebrating Grandparents Day. Leaving a legacy

It's grandparents day!

A day to recognize and celebrate those who have been crowned with the title of Grandparent.

What an honor to be a member of this elite circle of wisdom, resilience, and grace. What a blessing it is for your grandchildren to have you present in their lives.

What are your memories of your grandparent? I know there are some of you who may not have pleasant memories but I do hope that You have made it your mission to be an amazing grandparent.

Did you know that it was important for generations to live together for the preservation of information important to survival? Also, do you know there is an increase in the number of grandparents who are direct caregivers, working, raising, caring for, and nurturing their grandchildren worldwide? That is they are parenting for a second time.

What's your 'grandparent name'?

Oh Nuh-nuh!

Did you call your grandmother a unique name? My grandmother was called Moms. Imagine when

Nuhnuh (Deb) with the Grands

my brother and I had both our mother and grandmother in the same room you would hear Moms and Mommy in the same sentence.

My brother's kids called their grandmothers Mom-mom and Mom-mom mom.....yep....try keeping that straight. One of the moms was the paternal grandparent and the other the maternal.

Usually, the first grandchild gets the honor of the naming.

When my son was born my mom wanted to be called Grand Ma. However, she made the mistake of reading the story of the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood remember the line "grandmother, grandmother what big eyes you have." So you guessed it. She was crowned Grand Mother.

My naming story is similar, I wanted to be called Ama.....didn't happen....when my granddaughter was born, for some reason (unknown to me) I would entertain her with my rendition of Rihanna,s song, "What's my name?" only the chorus. "Oh, nana what's your name?" and I would answer that question with her name.

Can you guess my grandparent's is not Nana...sounds similar but spelled ..Nuhnuh (nuh-nuh). The sophisticated version (lol). And my granddaughter is little Nuhnuh. I'm sure you have a similar story.

 I have the honor of not only living with my grands, but also imparting a sense of balance, and ensuring a passing of legacy.

Being the big G

Put your hand up if you sneak an extra treat or 2 to the grands, then you hear your kids say "I would never have gotten away with that! You getting soft in your old age" and you just smile. Ain't it fun!

Have you told the story?

In several of my post, I mention "multi-generation living" meaning there are 3 generations under one roof. In my household, I have the honor of not only living with my grands, but also imparting a sense of balance, and ensuring a passing of legacy.

In this digital era when there are very few photo books albums sitting on the living room table or a gallery wall filled with family photos, some sepia and faded, we are losing opportunities to tell our family stories. Some good, some not so good, some hilarious, and some filled with emotion.

My granddaughter asked me one day "did you have a mom?" Sounds like a crazy question. But looking around the house all 2000 sq feet of it. There was not one family photograph hanging on

Deb with her grandson

the walls or anywhere visible that would stir a conversation. I can't fault her for thinking that I just suddenly appeared created of the air. She just could not understand in her head where I came from, did I have a mom how I relate to her mom, and how she relates to us. Again I couldn't fault her.

I took her to my curio which had one photo of my mom, that sat next to her mom my daughter, and my son (deceased), who sat next to her. She asked their names, and how each person relates to the other. Eye-opening moment.

Our grandchildren are missing connections. The type we Baby boomers and Millennials have had in the past and present. In this digital environment, they have no references. To me, that seems lonely.

Learning from the lessons of the past

I get strength from remembering the power of a little woman, my grandmother, Moms. I remember

Picture of Moms (Debs Grandmother)

her tale of when she started nursing school she was the oldest in her class, people were telling her to go home and care for her husband and children. Stubbornly, she persevered, later becoming the head nurse in charge of a community hospital. When she passed, she left 2 homes paid in full, and many people to tell of her strength, stubbornness, kindness, and laughter. What a contagious laugh she had.

Another source of resilience comes from Mommy, my mom, who gave so much to others, she saw a need and found ways to help. She held several positions as a member of Lions Club International, living out their mission to serve.

I can tell stories of my grandfather who never went to college but spoke at least 4 languages fluently. There are so many stories of uncles and aunts who I get inspiration from, and whose memories help me solve present-day issues. If we do not make it a priority to share these stories what would our grandchildren have to draw upon?

There are new ways to bring those stories and photos in the attic to life.

Empowering the future

It is left up to us, the grandparents, to bring our parents and those before us alive in their heads.

Showing how they brought children up on bare little, how hard they worked, worshiped, and what they had to endure. Connecting how their life stories have shaped you and directly influence their (grandchildren's) present. Remember to share the failures as well. Failures or missed opportunities also have valuable lessons to teach, life is not perfect, and it can be downright ugly at times.

We need to tell these stories

There is so much that we the grandparents have in us, yes it is fun to share our hobbies, help them with their homework, and be present for the recital dance or show up for the little league.

There are new ways to bring those stories and photos in the attic to life, such as writing a legacy

book or using websites like StoryCorps whose mission is to listen, honor, and share the past with the future. Video journal, write a biography of family members, create a family tree, digital recording, photo books, write letters to your grandchildren, and design a legacy quilt. After my granddaughter incident, I ordered photo canvases from Mixtiles to create a photo gallery. I was quite pleased with the results.

So let's celebrate Grandparents day not only with hugs and kisses but by vowing to arm our grandchildren with their heritage, and their legacy, so that they would continue telling the stories of where they've been what they've done and what we have overcome.

Let our grandchildren be filled with the spirits of those before us so that that spirit can carry them into their future helping them overcome any hardships or difficulties and for them to understand celebrations.

So tell those family stories! That may sound funny and they may say " Grandma, you've told that story before" and you say "but I will tell it again".

Celebrate your grandchildren (and adopted ones as well I have 2)

Deb with granddaughter in the garden!

Happy Grandparent's day!

-Deb or Nuhnuh

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