I didn't grow up with my grandparents.
My maternal grandparents died when my mother was a teenager while my paternal grandparents died when I was, probably, 9 years old. Though my father's parents lived a little longer, my memory of them were limited to their struggles with Alzheimer.
My parents, however, didn't fall short in allowing us to have a vignette of my grandparents' being. They were subjects of our before-and-after-siesta talks and mealtime and bedtime stories. They were like Casper: friendly, personable, and larger-than-life phantoms. And those larger-than-life moments extend to the present. Thanks to our parents, my siblings and I are living testimonies of our grandparents' memories. Below are five ways my grandparents impact my life:
1.) My Parents. I wear all the principles my parents live by on my sleeve. They modeled and imparted thoughts on discipline, excellence and hard work and focused on faith and dedication to the family. A proof that most of my grandparents were successful enough to instill within them the family's most cherished values.
2.) The Extras. And because our grandparents are the family's larger-than-life phantoms, we have an extra connection with the things around us. We never had a summer with Grannie and Grandpa, but we had an everyday reminder about where they stand with a lot of issues.
3.) Code of Behaviors. My parents have set a minimum level of acceptable behavior within our own home or out in public either in agreement or disagreement with my grandparents'. For instance, my father would say that he is our paternal grandparent is not. I have so much respect for what my father has become, and for that, I thank my paternal grandfather.
4.) Caretakers. In essence, my grandparents have become our custodial or surrogate parents. Their involuntary and nonphysical contact caretaking, for the most part, reflect the same family values we nurture today.
5.) Funny Bone. We love to laugh, and my own parents have their funny stories about and with their own parents. The funny bone in them tripled when it trickled down on my siblings and me.
It doesn't take a real-time experience to appreciate our grandparents. It also doesn't need a national grandparents day to savor our memories with/of them. For people like me who have been impacted by their grandparents' values and principles through their parents, every day is a grandparents' day.
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