Spending time with grandparents
EDITOR l RACHAEL STEIDL
My Grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago and I accepted that his memory was failing. What I wasn't prepared for was the day he stopped remembering me. I went to visit him in the Spring and felt so sad when I left because I never got to say goodbye. He is still here physically but our roles have changed and he is no longer clear on who I am. He cannot remember all of the experiences we shared together while I was growing up. I still go visit him but having me around now confuses him rather than giving him comfort. I did not realize things would change so quickly and took for granted the time I thought we had left.
My daughters are fortunate to have all of their grandparents in their lives. I have explained to our children that something as simple as a phone call from them or a letter in the mail can brighten up their day.
Recently they have begun writing letters with one of their grandmothers who is on the East coast. It may be less efficient than an email but it is much more special and their eyes light up when they receive her letters.
Mark your calendar for GRANDPARENTS DAY on September 13th! This is a wonderful time to celebrate the generations in your family. If they live locally, read, cook, volunteer or take a walk together, look through photo albums, ask them to share their history with your children. If they are farther away, have your child write a letter, draw a picture or set up a Skype call. If there is not a grandparent in your child's life, consider visiting a local retirement home and visiting the elderly. Grandparents spoil and love us unconditionally and in turn we need to do the same when the roles being to change.