For the Love of Grandparents
As we honour our grandparents for Grandparents Day, we invite you this month to:
say a prayer for all grandparents
meet some of our grandparents
share with us your own memories
May you enjoy meeting these fascinating people!
To share your story, email Jennifer Hatt, Communications Officer. New stories will be posted to the blog during the month of September.
PRAYER FOR GRANDPARENTS
Look with love on grandparents the world over,
They are a source of enrichment for families,
for the Church
and for all of society.
May they continue to be pillars of the Gospel, teachers of wisdom and courage
and keepers of tradition.
May they encounter the respect and love of their children and grandchildren,
building strong family foundations.
And may they continue to grow and share their faith with joy and in abundance.
Mary, Mother of God, keep grandparents constantly in your care.
Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, accompany all grandparents as the journey with grandchildren,
We ask this through your grandson, Jesus.
Une prière pour les grands-parents
Seigneur Jésus, Regarde avec amour les grands-parents du monde entier,
Ils sont une source d’enrichissement pour les familles, pour l’Église
Et pour la société entière.
Puissent-ils continuer d’être des piliers des Évangiles, des enseignants de la sagesse et du courage et des gardiens de la tradition.
Puissent-ils connaître le respect et l’amour de leurs enfants et de leurs petits-enfants, construisant ainsi de solides liens familiaux.
Et puissent-ils continuer de grandir dans leur foi et la partager avec joie et abondance.
Sainte Marie, mère de Dieu, veille constamment sur les grands-parents.
Sainte Joachim et Sainte Anne, accompagnez tous les grands-parents dans leur cheminement avec leurs petits-enfants.
Nous vous le demandons au nom de votre petit-fils, Jésus. Amen
(from our Diocesan Family Life Committee)
My Nannie Aker
Gladys Aker was a most remarkable woman of faith.
She lived in Sydney Mines was widowed at an early age and raised eight children on her own. My Dad was her eldest son and we (my Dad, Mom, myself and my two brothers) lived with her until I was in Grade Three.
One of my earliest memories of Nannie was when she would take me to her Church, Trinity Anglican, on Easter Sunday. I remember being amazed at the huge gold eagle lectern and the beautiful music.
She married my Grandpa, a Presbyterian and raised all her children Presbyterian but she celebrated Easter in the Anglican Church. She always saw the best in people affirming their strengths. She taught us patience, kindness, compassion and hope. She was truly a missionary disciple.
Seen here with my son Jason.
Grammy is our "Google"
My Grandmother was the Matriarch of our family as my own Mother is today.
Grammy Anne was a strong Irish woman of Catholic faith loved by her large family. Her daughter, my own Mother, lives with us and as "Gram" to our kids is again a strong Irish woman of Catholic faith loved by her large family.
She is our "google" for family stories which she delivers with wit and good humor. Gram can quote the Butler Catechism, sing church songs, and knows an inspirational verse for every situation. She loves the parish bulletins, diocesan news, and Facebook.
Gram says that we are here for a purpose, that all vocations are to be honored, that we are called to love, and a good laugh is what helps keep us going! She was nicknamed "The Source" because of her great memory, her gift of story telling and her deep knowledge of our Catholic prayers and faith traditions. She is our family "Google"!
My grandmother was my first playmate.
An old Super 8 film shows me at age four in our kitchen, my grandmother stirring a pot on the stove. Instead of putting her hands over her face or turning her back as so many people do in those old home movies, she sets down her spoon, leans over and extends both hands. Not needing to be asked twice I leap into the frame and we dance around the kitchen like Rogers and Astaire. There was no audio in the home movies of the day but I can still hear music: her humming a tune, the creaking of the old linoleum floor, the pot bubbling unobserved, not forgotten but literally on the back burner. In my grandmother's presence I was the most important person there was. She was never too busy, never too tired, answering question after question and encouraging me to do more. When I fell off a playground swing and sobbed all the way home, more frustrated than wounded, my grandmother chanted right along with me. Bad Swing. Bad Swing. She could put my thoughts into words before I could and knew something about everything, even though she never finished high school. She never attended church, either ... was Anglican, I think, yet she raised eight children, buried two, worked nonstop to keep everyone fed and clothed and always, always loved life to its fullest. At the centre of that love was her children, then grandchildren, then their children. She lived to 96, and among my greatest joys is that she lived to meet my three children, and they have a memory of her. One day as she was leaving my parents' home, me visiting with my infant son for summer vacation but tapping away voraciously on my laptop, she stuck her head in my doorway and said "Don't work too hard. That will stay put. He won't." After she left I turned off my computer and took my son for a swim. He's 19 now and she was right; the time passed way too soon. That was her one regret, having no time to play with her children. She had five of them, including a set of twins, in the first five years of her marriage, in a home with no electricity or running water. It was feeding, changing, cooking and washing - hard work that callused her fingers, but not her heart. She paid it forward, and what she could not do with her own children she did with theirs.
Play with them.
I sit here typing voraciously on my computer, my son in university, my girls in school, and while I am in tears at the memories I have no regrets. This past summer, we played. Tonight when the girls get home, and Thanksgiving when my son returns for a visit, we will play some more. And be happier and healthier for it.