By Rebecca Fending
It seems that for most people, memories of their grandparents are some of the dearest that they keep. From the nostalgia of Grandma’s cooking to the stories Grandpa recites from his wild youth, it’s no wonder that grandparents have a day devoted to their appreciation.
My most comforting memories involve family, specifically time spent with my grandparents. When I was younger, I would spend a weekend here and there at their house. My grandma would pick me up on a Friday from my parents’ house and we would go to our local Meijer. I would “help” her do the grocery shopping for the week. Most notably, the trip consisted of the ingredients for our family’s big Sunday dinner and Fudgsicles for my grandpa. I would then get to help make dinner for the next two nights alongside Grandma by assuming the role of prep chef and Salad Maker.
The next day, both grandparents and I would go “fun shopping”, usually a trip to the local shopping mall for clothes and the obligatory stop in Yankee Candle for Grandma, much to Grandpa’s disapproval: “Do you really need more candles?”
Afterwards, we would return home, make dinner and settle in for a movie or two. One weekend, we watched a horror movie much to my grandma’s, well, horror. She and I both watched the entirety of the film through the slits between our fingers, leaned on each other for support and swore, “Never again!” as the credits rolled and Grandpa chuckled.
Sunday was a much more relaxing day. My grandma was preoccupied with slaving over dinner for the whole that night, so my grandpa would take me for a ride in his truck. He would pick a CD from his extensive music collection and we would listen, sing and laugh as we drove the back-country roads. He would explain why he loved the certain song, album or artist and proceed to play his picks in descending order of favoritism.
Back then, what he played for me was Aerosmith, Annie Lenox or my personal favorite, Electric Light Orchestra, but within more recent years, he’s shown me his psychedelic rock favorites on vinyl. It’s probably better he kept me away from Iron Butterfly, Fever Tree or The Electric Prunes until I could fully appreciate them as an adult.
I wouldn’t trade these memories for the world. They come back to me in bursts when I hear an ELO song or when I visit their house as an adult and smell Grandma’s homemade spaghetti and meatballs; her kitchen triumph that anointed her as an “honorary member of the Italian community”, according to my grandpa.
This September, Grandparents Day falls on Sunday, September 13. No matter your title, whether Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa, Mimi and Pops, this day is for you. On behalf of grandkids everywhere, thank you for the time and precious memories over the years. Irreplaceable and wonderful, we hold you close.
Have a magnificent September, we’ll see you in October!Rebecca, editor