Grandparents Are Our Family Gems!

Their Support and Stories Strengthen our Families

In the face of the Ukrainian-Russian war, I can’t help but think of my Ukrainian and Polish grandparents, who have since passed away. Their immigration and settling stories reinforce the example they set as strong, resilient and courageous people. Now seeing Ukrainians resisting with such strength, grace, resilience, and courage, and the Polish community embracing their neighbours with love and support, I feel such great pride. I was lucky to have my grandparents for many years, losing the last one, my Polish grandmother, when I was in my 50s. Their support over the years was exceptionally influential. I believe that strong grandparent relationships greatly enhance the development of grandchildren. It takes a village to raise a child.

What did my grandparents teach me?

Tenacity: They were determined people no matter what they did, following through and going the extra mile entertaining family. They all were determined to live in their homes till late in their lives. My grandfather was on his roof in his eighties fixing a t.v. antenna lol. All my grandparents helped my parents in the building of the interior cottage and worked on the landscaping even into their 70s.

Sense of Humour: They all lived to laugh. My one grandfather had a dry sense of humour the other was a joker. My Baba was a bit of a clown and the other grandmother was seriously sassy, being the dramatic straight lady for my jokester grandfather.

Creativity: All the grandparents were exceptionally creative in all they touched whether it be cooking, baking, sewing, building or recycling.

Problem Solving: There wasn’t an issue to complain about. Nope, they would take initiative, apply their creativity. Poof…solutions were found! They were not victims. A proud people who took action.

Humility: Down to earth, simple and careful not to waste or brag. Yes, they were proud people but they also knew how to balance pride with gentle grace and integrity.

These are just a few of the wonderful gifts that my grandparents shared with me, for which I am deeply grateful. Now given the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my parents were able to share the same gifts with our children while Mark’s parents were also able to share these qualities plus others that reflected their experiences. The family legacy of resilience, strength, grace and courage continues as these qualities and more are modelled and encouraged.

To celebrate the power of grandparent influence in raising our children I share the story I wrote when our boys were small In Search of Something Green. It’s a story that celebrates tenacity, resilience and optimism. Matthew learns to overcome his fear of diving while visiting with his grandparents. His grandmother introduces the element of magic as she looks for four-leaf clovers with Matt through the evenings. Take a look.