In the US the 8th September this year is Grandparents Day. My initial reaction was to think that Grandparents day sounded like an invention by the card to extract cash from us but apparently instead it was the brainchild of a woman who wanted to ‘champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes’ and ‘persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide’. Apparently it has been celebrated in the States since 1978 on the first Sunday in September.
Tapping in to the wisdom & heritage that grandmothers and the older women in our lives can provide is exactly what Listening to our Grandmothers is about and so given that next weekend I will be launching the book website I thought it would be great to invite you to do something to mark this occasion and Grandparents Day.
The invitation is to leave in the comments below a tribute to your Grandmother. What did you or have you learnt from her? What is it about her that you remember, have been told or would like to share? Why is she so important to you?
It doesn’t matter whether you knew your Grandmother, whether she is alive or died many years ago. I’m interested in collecting our diverse shared experiences of our grandmothers – these could be something you mum told you or something that happened yesterday. If you never knew your grandmother you are also welcome to share something about another older woman who meant a lot to you. Share whatever it is you feel you’d like to contribute.
Your comments will form the first entries on page called ‘Tributes to our Grandmothers’ that I will be setting up on the Listening to Our Grandmothers website next week and the best three will win a signed, first edition, copy of the printed book when it is released on 16th September. If you’d like to be kept update about the launch please sign up for my mailing list by following this link.
You can also post your tribute on the Listening to our Grandmothers Facebook page or post it on your own website and share it on the Facebook Page or tweet it using #LTOG. As long as you share your tributes in one of these ways by Grandparents Day, 8th September, you will be entered in to the competition.
I am so looking forward to reading your tributes.
My darling Grandmother; my Nana, died almost exactly a year ago, leaving a gaping hole in a family, who while spread physically across the world, are also tied together through our mutual love and respect for her. Losing her husband and soul mate at a young age, and being left with a farm and four children, she could have been forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Suffering a debilitating stroke, also at such a young age, you might expect that she would have asked for more help. But no, Nana was a ‘chin up’ kind of woman; a champion at brushing herself off, standing up straight, putting some lipstick and blush on and getting on with things. She knew fine well that nobody likes a complainer, so saw little point in lamenting the negative, choosing to see the best in everyone; radiating positivity and a contagious enthusiasm for life. One of the most loyal, fair, honest and loveable women I will ever have the privilege of knowing, my Nana, and the memory of her, propel me to be a better person every day. I try to see people in their most positive light, as she did; give them the benefit of the doubt, as she did and fiercely love my family and my husband, as she did. I thank her, quietly, everyday for teaching me to be the kind of woman I want to be.
This is beautiful Sarah. Thank you for sharing it. An inspiration.
Oh I have to tell you about Granny Kate! Sadly, she left when I was only 8 (back in the late 70s) but she was a warm hearted, funny woman who always had a grin on her face.
She used to babysit me. We’d watch the old variety shows that used to be on TV in the 70s, and she’d tell me all about the music halls. She told me how, if an act wasn’t good enough, everyone would boo and throw vegetables. So if someone came on the screen we didn’t like, we’d boo them and pretend to throw vegetables.
I also remember her doing the ironing for my Mum. Granny Kate would pick up my brother’s jockstrap hold it up and shout “Look! No bum! No bum!” which made me collapse in fits of giggles.
Granny Kate had 8 children who survived … I think there may have been one lost too, although my Mum won’t talk about it. She lived in Edinburgh, and my Grandad was a man with a temper on him. The family were very poor. As an adult, I can read history books and learn about what it was like for women raising a family in the 1930s and 40s. I realise Granny Kate would have had a hard life, yet she was still able to laugh and joke.
She was only in her late 60s when she left us. Cancer took her. I really wish she’d been around for a few more decades, but the memory of her is still strong in me today. love you, Granny! xxxx
Thanks for sharing this Jenny. Granny Kate sounds lovely.