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On September 13 we celebrate Grandparents Day and the wisdom, experience, and love they can share with all of us. Too often in today’s culture there is a disconnect between children and their grandparents due to a variety of factors including age difference and geography. Sometimes we forget that grandparents were young once themselves, and may not know how to find common ground with them. However, building those relationships brings about a special joy and connection that will last long into adulthood, even after their grandparents are gone.
Grandparents Day was created by Marian McQuade of West Virginia, celebrated in that state in 1973 and finally made a national day in 1978. McQuade worked with senior citizens since the 1950s and advocated for them both in West Virginia and as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. She saw that too many elderly people were simply shut-ins, cut off from the rest of the world. Grandparents Day was one way she helped remind others that “old” doesn’t mean “useless” or “cast-off.”
Some activities to celebrate Grandparents Day can include community events or small gatherings, playing games that appeal to all ages, looking at old photos and listening to stories…really anything that can bring generations together. The importance of the day is the relationship building – and grandparents can tell stories about Mom and Dad that the grandkids haven’t heard, reminding them that their parents were once children as well (and that grandparents were parents first!).
Our lives are enriched by our relationships and the bonds we have with others, and celebrating Grandparents Day on September 13 is one special way to strengthen those bonds, creating memories and connections for years to come.