How to Show Your Grandparents You Care
She sits and rocks, so gently back and forth
Her chin leaning heavily on her chest.
In her hands she cradles, one flat waxed rose
And sighs as pain is swelling in her breast.
Her long grey hair, now tied up in a bun
Is what I see when entering the room.
I helplessly watch, her tear drops flowing,
They look like dew, upon the lonely bloom.
Slowly she looks at a picture nearby,
A glimpse of a smile creases her face.
Granddad with her, stand on their wedding day
With red roses, and a dress of white lace.
After the wedding, she said with a smile,
I took this one rose and waxed it back then.
Granddad had laughed at me wondering why.
I said, for the special memories when...
And now this old rose, I hold in my hand,
Precious memories kept in my drawer
I pull it out remembering the day
When granddad loved me, and I loved him more.
The Special Rose by Brenda Meier-Hans
Whether you’ve been lucky enough to have grown up with your grandparents’ influence or only felt their love through long distance phone calls, it’s clear that most grandparents have a generous amount of wisdom, advice, love and support to offer the ones they love. It can be easy to dismiss their sometimes seemingly outdated ways to doing things, their stories about times passed or their old fashioned ideas of how you should get your haircut, but oftentimes we miss the wealth of knowledge and under appreciate their unconditional love.
Of course, not all of us have the relationship we’d like with our grandparents, perhaps because we’ve lost touch, because of family tension or because of a difference of opinion. Read on for tips on how to show your grandparents you love them, to celebrate your relationship or to reach out after some time apart.
Pick up the phone
It seems so easy to do, yet so often we let time slip by without making this most basic form of contact. The longer we wait, the bigger the distance seems, and we then feel even more hesitant to do so. Calling your grandparents doesn’t have to entail a three hour discussion, either, it is more about touching base and showing them you care. The more often you do this, the shorter you’ll feel the conversations need to be, and the more you’ll learn about their routines, what they enjoy, and be alerted when things go wrong.
Take them out to lunch, or cook them a meal
Booking a table at a nice restaurant is a lovely way to spend an afternoon, particularly if you choose somewhere special to spoil your grandparents. If you’re short on cash or want to do something a little less fancy, make a meal from scratch for the people that no doubt usually spend many hours in the kitchen preparing food for you!
Visit them at their home
Depending on the age of your grandmother and/or grandpa, going out for the day may not be a viable option. Making the effort to visit them in a comfortable setting is paramount, particularly if they are no longer mobile. Bring along a deck of cards and some chocolates for a fun afternoon in.
Take them to a show
Many people enjoy going to see a show, and combining it with a sneaky glass of wine beforehand is certainly a civilised way to spend the day together. There are probably many options in your local area, like going to the theatre, the ballet, a comedy show or even just a nearby cinema.
Ask them what they’d like to do
Perhaps the most important part of spoiling your grandparents is checking in with them to see what they’d like to do. You may know them well enough to make a decision without consultation, but if you aren’t sure, run your ideas past them before you book in anything. Keep in mind that the day is supposed to be about them!
Make them something
Money, or a lack thereof, shouldn’t stop you from giving your grandparents a token of your love and appreciation, and often as people get older they become less focussed on material possessions and become more sentimental. Think about making them a scrapbook of your favorite photos, or writing a series of your favorite memories into a book and including a heartfelt message within.
Buy them something
If you can afford it, it can be wonderful to spoil your grandparents with a special gift, particularly once you start adding up the money they may have spent on you over the years! Some of our favorite gifts are tickets to a live show, vintage wine and a box of roses.
Prepare some words of appreciation, or get some things off your chest
Taking the time to tell your grandparents how much you appreciate them and listening to what they have to say, is a very powerful action that is often forgotten. This is particularly so if you haven’t always had a close or drama-free relationship. Write down your thoughts in advance so you have time to consider exactly what you’d like to say, and to avoid things getting heated in the moment. If you are planning on getting something off your chest, be sure to avoid aggressive language and make it clear that you are hoping to move forward on better terms.
Plan a surprise appreciation party and invite the family
Getting the whole family together to celebrate the life and love of your grandparents is a beautiful thing to do, no matter where you are. To take the pressure off, ask everyone to bring a plate, and come prepared with a memory to share that will no doubt have everyone laughing and reminiscing.
The way it smells when she cooks.
When you're bad, the way she looks.
How she would do anything to help a friend.
The way she'll stick by you until the end.
She's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.
Unless you get on her bad side, then you're in for a treat.
The way she'll cheer you up when you're down.
And how she helps you to turn your frown.
The way she jokes and laughs with me,
Her soul so kind, so sweet, so free.
She inspires me in different ways every day.
My grandma is wonderful in every way.
Profile of My Grandma by Bridget A. Miller
And if you're still stuck for an idea why not send Roses to say thank you.