On February 11, 2014, the world lost an extraordinary man. You wouldn’t have seen him on TV, or read about him in the newspaper but Pop Gourlay was a real gem.
Last week, we attended his funeral and celebrated his life and legacy. Living through the Great Depression, serving in World War II, volunteering in his local church and community. Pop had 1 daughter, 4 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild when he tipped his ‘flat cap’ for the last time at the age of 97.
What struck me about my hubby’s Pop was that he always had a great attitude and greeted everyone with a warm smile, even though he was blind and losing mobility.
Not long before he passed away, my father-in-law asked Pop: ‘What’s the most important thing about life?’ His response… ‘Living, of course!’
One of the greatest gifts we have in life, is our Grandparents. I don’t have one negative memory about mine. Grandparents have a God-given right to thoroughly spoil their grandkids, break the house rules and have a never-ending supply of chocolate on hand. But so much more than that, they build into our lives in ways we often don’t appreciate until after they’re gone. So much history, wisdom and life resides in their stories and memories.
Now, as a mum, I’m so grateful watching the very special bond my kids have with both sets of grandparents. I recently read this study about the amazing way that Grandparents and Grandchildren impact each other’s lives and I believe it!
My parents are the reason I’m able to work from home and I get to watch them invest in my kids’ lives… teaching them about gardening, reading to them, going on long nature walks and getting elbow-deep in play dough.
A 10 year old boy has recently launched a blog about coping with the loss of his grandparents. Not because they’ve passed away… they’ve moved overseas. He has a number of tips for Grandkids to help them cope with living apart from their beloved Grandparents.
I’m sure that the secret to Pop’s happiness lay, in part, with the joy his Grandkids brought him. He would often say: ‘I love my family.’ With an enormous grin on his face.
It’s no secret that the bond between Grandparents & Grandkids is a very important one and as parents, we need to nurture it and make sure they have lots of opportunities to connect and build into each other’s lives.