Day by Day: ‘Kids’ relish thoughts of grandmas, grandpas
By LIZ THOMPSON
September 6, 2020
This Week News
My Grandmother Page often said, “Patience is a virtue.”
As a grandma myself, I wonder if I’ve passed on any pearls of wisdom. I hope my grandchildren know I love cheering them on as they grow to maturity in beautiful ways.
The first Sunday of September following Labor Day was signed into law in 1978 as National Grandparents Day.
Julie Frost from Grove City said her family often traveled to Pittsburgh to see her Gram and Uncle Jim.
“Our grandpa passed away when I was 3, and our great uncle lived with Gram,” she said. “I remember playing on her big front porch and with our cousins when they visited their grandparents who lived up the street.”
The Frosts raised three boys and have seven grandchildren. When two sons announced their wives both were going to have girls, she was in heaven, Frost said.
Her other grandmother moved to Ohio at age 82. She lived 20 more years.
“Those are the years I really got to know her,” Frost said.
“We love to just play with our grandkids and listen to everything they say,” she said. “We want to be remembered as the fun grandparents. I hope they still want to talk to me when they get older.”
Doug Frost wants to be a huge part of their grandchildren’s lives, as well. He wants their grandchildren to remember that “their Papaw was as silly as they are, and that I always had time to play.”
Ron Gabriel was retired as Grove City police chief when his grandson, Caleb, was born.
Caleb’s dad, also named Ron, said, “One of our biggest blessings was that Caleb’s and his sister Hannah’s grandparents were so involved in their lives — and still are. Hannah and Caleb spend all kinds of time with my mother, Winnie, and my wife’s mother, Carla Peterson. They are at Carla’s every Monday for dinner and help her around the house.
“Hannah is with Winnie doing a lot of tech support for the computer and having dinner periodically.”
The younger Ron Gabriel said his father taught Caleb how to build. It appears he now sees the fruits of his loving labor.
Caleb Gabriel is a neighbor. I smile when I see the three men working on projects in perfect sync, measuring, laughing and enjoying each other.
Wendy Williams, who lives in Westerville, said she was lucky to know four grandparents.
“My mother’s parents babysat for me often,” she said. “They were always so kind to me.”
Her grandpa read newspaper comics to her and brought warm cashews from Smittle’s Pharmacy when he visited.
“My grandmother used to take me to the downtown Lazarus and Mills Restaurant for lunch,” Williams said. “We dressed up to go.”
Williams’ father’s parents taught her to play euchre and spent many afternoons shuffling and dealing. Her grandmother, Beunah Lawrence, graduated from Otterbein College in music.
“She went to people’s houses by horse and buggy to give lessons,” Williams said. “She played the organ at the Methodist church (now Church of the Messiah) while she was in college.
“I want my three, soon to be four, grandchildren to remember me as kind and loving, and enjoyed spending time with us. It is one of the best gifts God has ever given us. I watch in amazement as they grow and develop. I have time to listen to almost every word they say — though the 2 1/2-year-old has a lot to say!”
Jim Williams knew both grandmothers. His paternal grandmother lived with them six months each year.
“She spent a lot of time with me and always asked what I was thinking about,” he said. “It was way different than hearing, ‘Be quiet.’
“She was my loving thought coach, and even as a teenager I knew I was lucky to have her around.”
Jim Williams said his maternal grandfather died when he was 6.
“When we visited on Sunday, after dinner he would go out on his porch and whittle,” he said. “He gave me a hand-carved chain with a working turnbuckle. It is one of my favorite treasures and in my lockbox today.”
“The best way to honor your grandparents is the gift of time together — or at least some sort of communication,” Wendy Williams said.
Time together builds memories that last.