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My grandparents are to thank
By JAMI CUSTER
Fri, Aug 13, 2010
In July, I helped plan an event to thank my grandparents on my mother’s side for all they have done during the past 56 years. The party planning made me realize that I kind of take for granted the time I have to spend with these wonderful people who helped make me who I am.
Four months ago, my sister came to me and said she wanted to have a family reunion made up of my grandparents, their kids, their grandkids and so on. She said, “you’re better at this than I am,” so right there I was wrapped into this event.
Having never planned any type of reunion, I attempted to pull one together. I called it an “appreciation party” rather than a reunion because it was important to me that all our family understand the idea of honoring and appreciating my grandparents.
I started planning in April. I phoned my uncle (he and I are kind of bossy…but we get things done), and we discussed the idea and decided to hold a surprise luncheon for my grandparents. Our goal was to show them what they started back in 1954 when they married. They began their family in 1955 and it now consists of 34 people.
As part of this event, I planned to create a slideshow video for my family. During these past four months I have sifted through photographs of my grandparents from the 1950s to the present, and it became even clearer than before that it’s all going by so fast. When I think about my grandparents, I imagine them in their late 40s and 50s. In reality, they’re in their 70s, and I’m only reminded of this when I see them.
On July 10, we surprised my grandparents with the luncheon at the senior center in Salina, Okla., and it went off without a hitch. The look on my grandmother’s face was priceless, and I will forever remember how it felt to see her and my grandpa so happy.
Since then, I have received many thanks for putting together our event from members of my family, but I don’t think the credit is mine to take. The way I look at it, my life exists because of my grandparents and it’s them who are to be thanked.
In our society, it seems that we forget the significant things in life such as family. And once you’re old enough to appreciate them, it’s almost too late.
I know I would regret it if I wasted any more time not letting the elders in my family know how much credit they should get for how I turned out, but just the good stuff.
They, like many other elders, hold our traditions, stories and histories within their hearts and minds and it is our job to learn and respect these traditions just as they have and continue to carry them on through our lifetime.
We shouldn’t wait until we lose these important elders to show our appreciation because one day they won’t be here to thank. We should strive to make every day an elder appreciation day whether the elder be a family member, close friend or fellow citizen.
My son will be 2 years old in August and even that is hard to grasp, but I can carry on the traditions from my family so that he may continue them when he has a family of his own, thanks to my grandparents.