Time spent with grandchildren is precious

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Marking grandparent involvement with a holiday

By Charlotte Isbell

I asked my granddaughter Autumn if she knew about our latest holiday. She said no and asked what it was called.

I said it’s Labor Day.

She asked if that was the day we were all going to have babies. I said no, that’s a different kind of labor.

There’s another holiday coming up Sunday, but most people are not aware of its existence. It’s called Grandparents Day. Maybe no one notices this holiday because there’s no day off from work involved.

In 1970, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, a housewife from West Virginia, started a campaign to honor grandparents. With the help of Sen. Jennings Randolph she was able to accomplish this when Governor Arch Moore declared the first Grandparents Day in 1973.

McQuade kept working and pressing forward and in 1978 Congress passed legislation that the first Sunday after Labor Day would be Grandparents Day. President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation.

McQuade, the mother of 15, grandmother of 40 and eight great-great-grandchildren, worked diligently for this holiday to help bring awareness to the importance of our senior citizens. Whether they had children or not, she was concerned about the care and welfare of the elderly.

I don’t understand why the card and floral industries of America haven’t pushed this holiday like they do all the others. My grandparents are gone and I don’t think we ever honored them on this special day. The knowledge, experiences and wisdom we could receive from our grandparents is something you can’t get from a book. I wish I had the good sense to ask lots of questions from them when they were here. They lived in a time that I will never understand.

My late mother said on a good Christmas they would get an apple or an orange. My late dad said my mom’s family was wealthy compared to his. Children today or even my generation cannot imagine that kind of life. But there were great lessons to be learned by growing up without wealth. They spent time with each other, not with their computers. Families ate meals, worked and played together and visited other families. Today, we don’t take the time to visit anyone. The closeness of past generations has become a technology generation where no one communicates face to face.

We’re all so busy that we don’t take the time to get a great education from this older generation. Young people, don’t lose out on a precious jewel that is free for the asking. My grandchildren are precious to me and truly a gift from God. Don’t wait until they’re gone and wish you knew who they really were.