Anthea O'Neill and her grandmother

As we get older, making time for our grandparents drops very low on the priority list. Our lives are busy and full and we forget that our grandparents anticipate visits and phone calls from us more than anything in the world!

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My beloved Grandmother

I call my grandmother, “Ma”. Ma is eighty years old and lives in a seaside town in a retirement village. For the first time in her life she has her own little apartment and is surrounded by her friends.

Along with the other elderly residents of her retirement village, they have many activities in the community center to occupy their time. They also have outings arranged by the church where they visit other old age homes and go on social excursions. On off days they travel by train exploring other parts of the city as pensioners are able to travel for free by train every Thursday.

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I have been making more of an effort lately with phone calls and occasional visits whenever I can get to her because I realize that at eighty years old, my time with her is precious.  My children love visiting my Ma and she dotes on them just as she did on me. I was especially spoiled as the first grandchild in her family and still the only granddaughter!

We take care to dress nicely when we visit my Ma. She parades us around her community center and proudly introduces me to every person we pass as “her beautiful made-for-TV granddaughter”. She embellishes all my accomplishments and boasts to her friends of how I also naturally produced two “beautiful great-grandchildren”!

I would recommend visiting a grandparent for anyone who suffers from a low self-esteem. Seeing yourself through their eyes is definitely a boost of confidence!

My Ma has loads of family photos on the walls of her apartment and on every available surface. On my last visit her best friend, Lucy who is her next door neighbor invited me inside her place to show me her latest knitting project and I was awed when I saw that almost every floor to ceiling surface of her apartment was covered with family photos as well.

We forget that what our grandparents treasure the most are their memories and seeing how the family has grown out under them.

My grandmother's photos of me

This is a framed portrait of me on my Granny’s bedside table

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On my Granny’s wall: A photo of my son, my mom and me as a child at the bottom

Taking my young children to visit my Ma is also a novel experience. It seems as though all the seniors have a secret stash of sweets and treats that they keep just in case of any little children visiting! The elderly folk love having children around.

My daughter always refers to the time we visited my Ma many months ago when she showed Alexandra a little tiny pan she’d been gifted that fried a single egg in a flower shape. Alexandra talked about this pan so much that on our last visit, my Ma gave her a box with the little pan in it and a half a dozen of eggs! Grandparents really do spoil in such a unique way!

Make time for your grandparents

If you are lucky enough to still have your grandparents around, I’d definitely recommend calling them and visiting them more often. Time is precious and they do deserve our time!

A Granny’s love is always consistent. Other than your children, it’s one of the few relationships in your life that will never change. It’s unconditional love.

My grandmother and I

How often do you get to see your grandparents? Do you have the same experiences with yours?

 

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