Everyone has a favorite birthday celebration. Mine happens to be my 21st birthday.
I was a student at Vanguard (then SCC) and my Grams came to visit me. At the time I was a Teacher’s Assistant in a course on aging and asked my favorite octogenarian to join me in class. As Grams spoke about her life, most of what she shared was information I knew. She grew up in San Diego with one sister and two brothers. At 12 she learned to drive and the passion for driving and travel had never waned. In her early 20s she met my grandfather and was married. She was blessed with three sons, the middle one being my father. In her early 40s she was widowed and never remarried although she had multiple offers. Then the class was opened for questions. One of the first questions asked was why she had never remarried. In my 21 years I had never thought to ask that question. It took a fellow student taking an interest in my Grams’ story for me to find out some of my most cherished information about my grandmother. Her answer was simple. She paused and said, “I guess I never stopped loving Wesley.”
For me, that was a profound moment. I had never had a chance to meet my grandfather but I had heard many stories of how wonderful he was. Still, I hadn’t thought about the amazing love that my grandparents shared being so enveloping that she couldn’t imagine sharing her life with anyone else.
When our class was over, Grams took me to lunch and we were able to discuss some of the things that came up in the Q&A portion that we would have never spoken of before. She then traveled back home and I went about my day back at school but now with a little nugget of Grams that was worth its weight in gold.
It is for memories like this that I am excited to celebrate our first Grandparent Day in a little over a week. My hope is students will be able to enjoy a day at VU with their grandparent(s) the same way I did; that the student will be able to share a little of their world with their grandparent and gain something precious in return.