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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

great grandparents

we are so very blessed.  both of my dad's parents are still living.  my kids have great grandparents.  great grandparents whom they love and adore. they both turn 89 this year and have been married over 67 years.  crazy right?  67 years!! my grandfather's heart is tired and already equipped with pacemaker and defibrillator.  my grandmother has alzheimer's.  we are moving to africa.

family is a priority to us.  we hope to instill in our kids that it is one of the most important things.  to honor, treasure and pursue it always.  so we are hoping to see my grandparents as much as we can before we go.  but it's a long drive.  and they live in assisted living apartments ~ which are small {and seem even smaller with little kids} and they tire easily ~especially with all the activity we bring with us.  and it's a challenge trying to balance all that.

so we're trying something new.  my dad and i will take each little person on their own to see great grandpa and great grandma.  they get their own special day with them.  it's a long day.  drive there, stay about 4 hours, drive home.  but it is sooo worth it to us.  for our kids to know their great grandparents and for their great grandparents to know them.  what greater gift can you give then relationship?

now mia got to go visit with my dad all on her own a few months ago so to kick off this little adventure of ours we got to take asher.  he was amazing.  on the way there he did great.  played some games for awhile but mostly we played "i'm thinking" ~ you know the game ... "i'm thinking of something ...." and then the rest of the people have to ask questions to figure out what you're thinking of.  he was the master.  of course the whole thing quickly got it's own little inside jokes as papa {aka my dad} always asked if it was a dinosaur.  or medieval times. it wasn't.  but we played for hours ~ literally.

we got there and had lunch in the cafeteria with all the other residents.  a little intimidating at first for a five year old but he was totally fine in no time and ready to play with great grandma and eat.  we tried to go swimming but kiddos weren't allowed to swim the day we were there.  big disappointment here as we had been talking about swimming with great grandma for days.  again, blown away by my sweet man's resilience and willingness to find something else fun to do.  we saw the new apartments they will be moving into in a few weeks.  we raced in the hallways with great grandpa marking off times and declaring winners.  great grandma taught him to play piano. and he sat so still and let her move his fingers over the keys again and again.  then politely asked if they could do something else ~ like look at his spiderman books.  so he and great grandma curled up on the couch and worked on numbers in his spiderman pages {hooray homeschooling}.  and the smiles and the hugs were so precious.  and oh how nice it was that asher came to visit them.  they introduced him to everyone.  they fussed and he grinned.  and my heart tried to treasure every little moment.  because regardless of who else remembers this precious day i want to treasure it in my heart.  as four generations talked and played and ate and simply spent time together and delved a little deeper into this connection we call family.  and the long day ... it was totally worth it.  and eli...totally knows it's his turn next.

1 comment:

librariane said...

Oh! Eating in the cafeteria--that reminds me of when we'd go visit Aunt Verd and the whole fam would troop into the dining room. It took forever to get to the table, as all the others wanted to know who we were and comment how nice it was for Verd to have visitors.

It is a little nerve wracking when you're young and shy, but I realized later that she really enjoyed getting to show off her family.