• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Happy Grandparent's Day - two days late

The other day I saw a Ford Granada and I immediately laughed thinking of my Granny! One of my best friends, Ricky, went with me to spend a weekend with her. We had been friends since seventh grade and he was in my dad’s boy scout troop and knew most of the family. While we were away at college we would go to Granny’s for a get away. One weekend Granny wanted to take us to the state fair. Granny drove with Ricky in the back seat and me up front. Remember the jiggling machines for weight loss? As we sat at the stoplights it felt like we were sitting on a jiggle machine as the car idled. I don’t know why we got the giggles so bad but we tried not to laugh and that made it worse. As soon as the light turned green, Granny would gun it (southern for accelerate quickly) causing whiplash which would cause more giggles. We ran to keep up with her at the state fair. She had to see if her sister’s chickens had won something and then we had to go see if one of the relatives cows had placed.We were so tired that evening but Granny still put that hot meal on the table - biscuits included! Then when we were full we sat in front of the wood stove listening to stories. I don’t know who loved spending time together more - her or me! Ricky and I still laugh about that weekend! It felt so good to see that car and be reminded of special memories!

As a teen, I remember sharing many things with my Mamal, who listened and never judged. She was one of my best friends and my world was rocked at 19 when she died of pancreatic cancer. My Granny and I became very close when I had my first child. Because we lived less than an hour from her, Sarah and I spent two days a week with her. Granny always praised me, complimented me and cheered me on. I always felt prettier, smarter and more capable in her presence. Proverbs 10: 11, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” Granny was a huge part of my girl’s lives. They also had Mike’s grandmother, until five years ago, who was a big part of their life!. I loved her like my own and learned so much from her about cooking. We always laughed when we were together! I am so grateful for the grandparents in my life!

This Sunday is Grandparent’s day. Now if you are like my Granny you are thinking Hallmark always has a new ploy to sell more cards! Now you have to buy “Happy Grandparents Day” greeting cards. There is a day for everything! BUT, in 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday of September to be observed as Grandparents day. He wrote, “I urge each citizen to pause and to reflect on the influence his grandparents have had in shaping his own destiny and on the legacy bestowed upon our contemporary society by his grandparent’s generation.”

If you are blessed to have a grandparent still living - or a “like” grandparent still living - be sure to tell them you appreciate them. Learn where you came from. We are products of thousands of years of history and every time a generation passes, bits of our past are lost forever. Take advantage of the wisdom they have to offer. Share your heart and trust their advice. Listen to their stories filled with a wealth of experiences. Appreciate their humor. Be thankful for their affection. Soak up their wisdom. Tell them what they mean to you and your family and how they have influenced your life. Pray for them.

If you are a grandparent know how important your relationship is with your grandchildren or adopted grandchildren. Proverbs 17: 6, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” Grandchildren are the crowned of the aged. That means that I was like a beautiful crown that she “wore”. While her crown was not filled with diamonds it was worth far more than any other crown. Being a godly grandparent is a tremendous job that only you can do. Pray for them, affirm their worth in God, listen to them, share wisdom, encourage them in their faith, love them unconditionally! Be fun and affectionate. Laugh with them.

Proverbs 16: 31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.” The elderly man finds a “crown” of reward and honor in being surrounded by grandchildren. Genesis 48: 11, “Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.” Psalm 128: 5-6, “May you live to see your children’s children— peace be on Israel.” His life has mattered and continues on through generations. He raised his godly sons and daughters and raised them to raise up the same kind of children! Grandparents are so important!

I hope you had a Happy grandparents day, Sunday! We love you and appreciate you! For those who have passed on we hold them in our hearts and thank God for the precious memories! Grandparents always make us feel special and make each grandchild feel like they are the favorite. But I really was!


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