This story was written by Hannah H. and is part of an ongoing collaboration between Love What Matters and StoryWorth, an online service that makes writing your loved one’s memoir (or your own) as easy as writing an email. Click here to learn more about StoryWorth and begin capturing your loved one’s lifetime of memories to cherish forever.
“I am number 2 out of 11 grandchildren. The eldest, Martha, was born 2 and a half years before me and number three, Claire, came eleven months after. In under 4 years, my grandparents went from no grandchildren to 3 grandchildren.
At the time, they were both still working full time. My Grandmommy, Kathy, was a college professor and my Granddaddy, Mac, was in commercial real estate. They were by no means the stereotypical grandparents. There were no homemade cookies waiting for us when we visited or secret treat drawers just for us. Their home was decorated in beautiful works of art that were not meant to be touched.
Dirty hand prints were not allowed but my grandparents were still pretty fantastic. They gave us experiences. When each of the grandchildren hit 10 years old, they would take us on a trip of our choosing. I decided to go to England because I was obsessed with the history the royal family. When other kids were reading Babysitters Club or Goosebumps, I was reading all about Henry the VIII and his six wives. Needless to say, I was a weird kid.
My grandparents took us to the opera and the symphony. At 7 years old, my Granddaddy taught me to eat with chopsticks and at 8 my Grandmommy would take me to antique bookstores so we could find books that she read as a little girl. As a teenager, I didn’t appreciate them like I should have. I thought they were too critical but now I realize they just wanted me to have the best life possible. They were in no way trying to make me feel like I wasn’t good enough; they just thought I was so amazing I should have been doing more.
When my dad died, they became one of my biggest sources of comfort. As of now, they are in their mid 80s and show no real signs of slowing down. I know their bodies hurt, but their minds are just as sharp as they always have been. I know how lucky I am to be 30 years old and still have them both in my life. Most people don’t have that privilege.
I once told my Granddaddy that I didn’t want to hear his stories because they were boring. As an adult, I now understand how important they are. I love to go to their skyrise, sit down next to them with a cup of french pressed coffee, and hear all about their adventures.
Things have really changed now that they are great-grandparents. When my son, Sawyer, visits there are always M&Ms waiting for him. They don’t get upset if his little hands get chocolate on their sofas. I think age has mellowed them a bit. The best part about them still being around is they get to tell Sawyer all about his Granddaddy John. They are able to tell him stories about his Grandfather when he was a little boy. They help keep his memory alive.”
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