Sunday, September 10, 2017

It's National Grandparents Day!


It's National Grandparents Day! The holiday falls each year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. It was initiated at the grassroots level by West Virginian Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade (seen in the image atop this entry) with the behind-the-scenes support of her husband Joseph L. McQuade.

This photograph is from a web-page, which discusses a number of interesting facts regarding  National Grandparents Day; including the truism that "it's not a holiday invented to sell cards and flowers."
According to the aforementioned web-page, "there are three purposes for National Grandparents Day: 1. To honor grandparents. 2. To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children. 3.To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer."

In terms of my observing the first goal of this National Grandparents Day, I can no longer do that in the flesh. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents are no longer with me, but I'm fairly certain that during the time period in which I had them, they knew how much they meant to me.

In terms of the second premise re this holiday, my grandparents certainly had an opportunity to show love for their children's children, a few examples can be seen in the next set of images featuring my maternal and paternal grandparents (respectively).






Regarding the third premise re this holiday, which is to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer;" I can say with the upmost certainty, my maternal grandmother certainly was responsible for my being able to to do this!

The following picture,


shows my grandmother, Clara Fitchie, as a child (back row far right) with her siblings, who were to become my great aunts and uncles. Grace Fitchie, one of her sisters (last row, middle individual), was very dear to me.

I still have a birthday card (pictured below) that she sent me with a note (also pictured below), when I was a child; and, I've blogged about the significance of this a few times here on Blogger; including an entry which you may reference by clicking here.



My having been around these great aunts and great uncles was most likely instrumental in my friendship Peggy Wood. She is also the dearly departed editor, of the iBook version of Words In Our Beak Volume One


which as you may know, is written in the voice of  Cam, a female cardinal named for my maternal grandparents Clara and Albert Melahn (who can be seen in the next set of pictures).





As for Peggy Wood, my friend and editor of my iBook version of WIOB Vol 1 (which is dedicated to her), she lived in a fifth floor walk-up, like yours truly, and was a dear friend to me.  She can be seen in the next image reading my work.


In the following picture, Peggy can be seen with yours truly, as well as her brother and sister -in-law, when we were celebrating life at one of her favorite NYC places.


The next picture shows her about to enjoy her eighty-ninth birthday dessert in my urban garden, her sister-in-law is holding the cake as Peggy is about to make what would be her last birthday wish.


I miss her so much and am most grateful that her brother (seen in the picture below);


and sister-in-law, Lynda, have remained friends with me. 

They even took the time to include me in their plans this past summer (and I took their picture, which can be seen in the image below).


Moreover, my having been around all of these great aunts and great uncles likely influenced my appreciation of the elderly; and motivated me to be involved in homebound ministry work (for twelve years) that I did through The Church of the Blessed Sacrament.

During my years of doing this I met a number of great elderly folks, including the following:











Mada, the woman seen in the last image in this series was featured in one of my blog posts where I discussed T.S. Eliot. The others are all featured in a presentation in my Vimeo Library.

As you may surmise dear reader, I'm most thankful for my grandparents and am also grateful for them teaching me (at a very early age), to be "aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer."

In his play, I'm Not Rappaport, the playwright, Herb Gardener had this to say about the elderly: "Old people. They're the survivors, they know something, The very old, they are miracles like the just born; close to the end is precious, like close to the beginning." 

This quotation is one I've referred to a number of times here on Blogger, including one of my earliest posts (published in January of 2010), which you may reference by clicking here.

On another note, entertainers have been known to give a nod to their grandparents, Carol Burnett was someone who did this.

According to a web-page, Burnett used "to pay tribute to her grandma by tugging her ear." 

The aforementioned page states: "During the 2016 SAG Awards, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presented a spectacular tribute to the comedian and actor. Burnett, who received a Life Achievement Award that night, is best known for 'The Carol Burnett Show,' but she also appeared in several movies (and actually debuted on Broadway in 1959)."

This page also features a video clip (posted directly below) from the SAG Award ceremony, which includes Carol Burnett's homage to her grandmother. 



And with this video clip, dear reader, I'll conclude my musings for National Grandparents Day, but not before, wishing you a chance to spent time with your grandparents, if you are fortunate enough to still have them. I also hope, if you have grandchildren you will be able to be in contact with them on this holiday. However, if you don't have your grandparents and don't have grandchildren, I hope you are able to honor National Grandparents Day by spending time with those in the elderly community, for indeed, as Herb Gardener's character stated in I'm Not Rappaport, "Old people. They're the survivors, they know something, The very old, they are miracles like the just born; close to the end is precious, like close to the beginning." 

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