I’m not a big fan of celebrating “Mother’s Day”, “Father’s Day” or, like today, “Grandparents Day”. I think, although of course I can be wrong, that you have to love them and acknowledge their love and work always, and not on specific dates.
Even so, the so-called “Grandparents Day” is a good excuse to pay tribute to all those parents who are always by our side and that of our children. I can only say “Thank you mom for being by my side and always being the best grandmother to your grandchildren .” But of course there are more wonderful stories besides ours. Here we collect three different testimonials as a sample.
“My mother became the engine of our lives”
My mother has never worked outside the home, so she was always the first person I saw in the morning and the last person when I went to bed in my childhood and youth. He picked us up from school, took us to the park, always had our food ready when we returned from class … He was always there to tell him about our exploits of the day, go shopping or even wake us up with an orange juice when we had an exam.
When I went to Madrid to study, we kept talking every day and when fate took me to Andalusia to work, any excuse would serve to show up there and leave us food ready for a few days.
When I returned to Asturias to live and become a mother, she devoted herself to her granddaughter as she had done with us before. And, before we asked for help with my daughter for work, it was already there.
He was also by our side when my little boy was born, back in Madrid.
And it was then, just a few months later, that my mother became the engine of our lives. My husband got sick and I didn’t even have to ask him to leave his life in Asturias to help us. He left everything out of sheer generosity and moved to Madrid to help us. And he continued to do so after his death, staying by our side for about two years.
For those very young children, she became the granny, one more member of a rebuilt family that she helped keep on its feet. But as his generosity and love have no limits, to this day he continues to do so with my nieces as well, being the support of my little sister wherever they are. And I know that it will always be, because his heart is so big that it does not fit in his chest. I can never show you strong enough how much I love and need you.
A totally dedicated grandfather
His name is Ignacio, and they took early retirement from the mine at the age of 52. As he assures “a perfect age to be able to enjoy everything that I could not do during those years in which I only worked to ensure that their children did not lack anything.”
He built his desired house in the village by himself and began to enjoy hunting small game, for which he had little time before. He signed up for English, guitar, dance classes and even started singing in the choir. But she gladly abandoned everything when her grandchildren were born: when her children asked her for help to take care of them while they worked, she didn’t have time to say yes.
The three were born with two years of difference between them, enough to be able to take care of them as babies as they deserved. His wife has always been ill and has little or no involvement in caring for the grandchildren.
He took them to and from the nursery school, played with them in the park, gave them a snack … I was by their side if they got sick, if they had a problem in class, went to their soccer training sessions, to games basketball or violin rehearsals, with pride and dedication.
Today, for his grandchildren who are already grown up, he continues to be their “güelito” , whom they adore and who gets angry when he reads some reference to “slave grandparents” . He assures that for him it has been a true privilege that his children have allowed him to participate in the lives of their grandchildren and they assure that it is impossible to have been happier than having him by their side, even now that they are already teenagers.
Parents, grandparents and friends
Merce and Jose did not have an easy life. They were forced to work very hard when they were young to raise their children, and the oldest also became addicted to drugs. The logical thing would be to think that after so many years of work, the independence of their children would be a break for them, and that their parenting work would end there.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When her daughter became pregnant and after two years she divorced, they were there so that she and her granddaughter would not lack anything. They managed to reconcile their jobs with the girl’s school hours, while her mother worked about 10 hours straight with no other option.
After leaving work, the grandfather accompanied his granddaughter to mother’s house until she arrived: after the park, snack, and later homework, he would have a bath and dinner. As he himself assures, “luckily I was able to retire and dedicate more hours to what most gratified me: playing and taking care of my little girl, something I couldn’t do when my children were small and I had to work.”
Today his life revolves around his little Alex and all his friends know his grandparents, who accompany him to birthdays and after-school sessions. They give him lots of cuddles and hugs and remind him every moment how important he is to them.
These are just three examples of how much our grandparents love and care for us, but there are many more. I still remember with great affection my grandparents, now deceased. Without them my childhood would have been much sadder.
For them, and for all the grandparents in the world who make our lives and that of our children better, go this small but sincere tribute. Thank you for being there, for loving us, for being a great example for your grandchildren, for being the mirror in which we look at ourselves every day.
And you? Do you also have a testimony to tell?
Photos | iStock
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