Honoring Grandparents – It’s Great To be Grand! (Week 1)

September 9, 2021

National Grandparents Day
September 12, 2021

September is the month that being a grandparent is celebrated. National Grandparents Day came about back in 1970. Marian McQuade, a West Virginia housewife, came up with the idea of a day set aside to encourage families to visit their elderly relatives. With a firm resolve to make it happen, she began lobbying policymakers. McQuade got through to her Senators, Jennings Randolph and Robert Byrd, who introduced a resolution to make Grandparents Day a national holiday. It took a while to reach the White House, but finally, in 1978, the resolution declaring National Grandparents Day as the first Sunday after Labor Day, was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. The first national observance of Grandparents Day occurred September 6, 1979. In his proclamation, President Carter said of grandparents: “Because they are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young…they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations.”

Encourage Celebrating Grandparents Year Round:

For Grandparents and Older Adults – Commit to do something grand and share your wisdom, perspectives and key civic values with young people and advocate on their behalf.

For Children, Youth and Younger Adults – Commit to do something grand and connect and serve with your grandparents or older adults in your community.

For Community Groups Sponsor Intergenerational Programs – You are doing something grand every time you bring younger and older people together. Plan an intergenerational activism project. Together we can address the many challenges facing future generations from literacy to health and wellness to financial stability.

For Congregations – Celebrate Grandparents Day by encouraging grandparents and grandchildren to worship together (virtual or safely in-person). Grandparents also enjoy the fellowship with other grandparents who are engaging with their grandchild at worship.

On May 25, 2017 this writer became a Nana and he has changed my life. Now at 4 years old, my grandson continues brings me incredible joy and lots of laughter. This writer had no idea that being a grandparent would be so emotionally potent. Initially this writer feared being a long-distance Nana would be difficult. While I can’t always be there with him, nor babysit on an ad hoc basis, when I do see him in person, I make the most of our time together and we have truly bonded as I shower him with my Nana love. I couldn’t imagine life without him. Of course, there’s no substitute for in person interaction; for those times I cannot be there in-person, there’s technology. Thank God for social media chat platforms!

Then on July 14, 2021, my daughter and her husband welcomed their first, a beautiful baby boy. My Nana love now has been extended to my newest grandson with unspeakable joy and I’m looking forward to the bonding and closeness with him and the lasting relationship with my grandchildren.

This month join us as we honor, reflect and celebrate the tremendous contributions grandparents have made in our lives and on society. Later this month we will run articles regarding grandparents as caregivers as well as the need for ministries that specifically minister to our aging population.

“If you know his father and grandfather, don’t worry about his son.”
-African Proverb

Next Week: Continuation

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes. In some instances, this article contains the opinions, conclusions and/or recommendations of the writer. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.