“I’m just going to send it right back!” My Grandma’s voice sounds clearly through the telephone as she describes her latest purchase from the Home Shopping Network. It’s these little quirks and characteristics that make people who are dear to us so memorable. As my Grandma’s next birthday approaches, it makes me pause and think more about what she means to me. She has always been a very special person in my life as I was growing up, and as the years go on it, becomes more clear to me just how dear she is.
I have many happy memories of my Grandma. As a little girl, I loved visiting her house, exploring the woods on her property, and playing with her dogs. Some of my favorite memories from those days include big family Thanksgiving dinners, making Christmas cookies with her, and opening Christmas gifts at her house. I always love listening to the stories she tells about her childhood and past. Her tales of rollerskating with matching pompoms on her and her boyfriend’s skates, stealing watermelons from neighboring fields, and hunting for snipes (make-believe creatures born in the minds of my Grandma and her siblings) fascinate me and hold me captivated. My Grandma has taught me many important lessons. She was born during the great depression, and truly knew what it was to “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” She passed this wisdom on to me through her influence of really knowing how to use and appreciate what is given to us. This still shows today as she encourages my mother to clean every bit of food out of cans, lest we “leave half the goodness” behind.
My Grandma is also very creative, and was a big influence on me in encouraging my own creative endeavors. I have happy memories of painting pictures at her house, and of her teaching me to sew and crochet. My Grandma has always loved flowers and gardening, and I’m always amazed at her vast knowledge of horticulture and botany. My Grandma shares a passionate love for animals with me as well. She has loved many different dogs and cats over the years, and currently owns a cute little dog that she takes on daily walks.
My Grandma is also a brave breast cancer survivor. She will turn 82 soon, and is still doing very well living on her own. I know that eventually a shift will need to take place, and some of us will need to move into the role of a caregiver for her. As this article from CNN relates, being a caregiver for elderly parents and grandparents can be a very positive experience, as we have increased opportunity to spend time around them and learn from them. At the same time, it is important to make sure that we know what will be required of us as caregivers. Genworth, a leading provider of life and long-term care insurance is a great resource in providing information that helps us know how to be good caregivers. It is a wonderful thing to be able to give back to the parents and grandparents who have already given so much to us, to show gratitude to them, and to help make their golden years comfortable and happy.
Each birthday that my Grandma celebrates with us is more and more special, as we cherish the time we get to spend with her, and celebrate the life and legacy of such a wonderful person.
This post was inspired by Genworth Financial. All opinions are 100% my own (always). For more information about caregiving, visit the Genworth Financial website.