“GOD COULDN’T BE EVERYWHERE SO HE MADE GRANDPARENTS!”
I found this written on a magnet, stuck to my mother’s fridge door one day. It was given to her by my then 6 year old niece as a Mother’s day gift. The significance of this verse was more apparent after the recent loss of my father and now my mother. I never really knew my grandparents, as those days in the early sixties, in an Asian family, children were meant to be seen and not so much as heard. It however did not mean that my grandparents did not love me, it just meant that love and affection was not so openly displayed. Signs of affection came in the form of toys or goodies passed through my parents and hugs and kisses were hardly an occurrence. This was the same for my parents. It was difficult to show open affection in the family.
Time passed and we children got older. We started families of our own. Social behavior and customs changed along with the times. People became more open and displayed their love for one another more publicly. It took a long time for me to adjust to these new social behaviours as I was still very much bound by teachings instilled upon me during my childhood.
The biggest transformation came about when I had my son. My parents, especially my dad who was a typical school teacher with the stiff-upper-lip look was the first person to be so amused to hold a new born grandchild in his arms. It was the first time I saw such joy written all over his face. My mum was just as ecstatic to hold her first grandchild. I had the pre-conception that after all the elation over a newborn had faded away, things would be as it was in my time. I was so wrong.
For the next 19 years, my son and his cousins spent a wonderful time with my parents, who showered their grandchildren with all the love and affection they could show. The kids relished in all the attention they could get from my parents, who taught them wisdom, how to think the right way, read them stories, showed them things which only grandparents could to amuse their grandchildren, teachings of morality and filial piety as well as just general enjoyable fun. It was so different from my olden days with my grandparents! My parents had changed with the times and now showed to their grandchildren what could not be shown in our days. It was in a way, making up for lost time.
The impact of this transformation in my parents was aptly put by my son during my father’s passing. He said to me ” Mum, grandpa is in a better place, and I miss the time I spent with him. He taught me how to think.” Though my dad is no longer around, his legacy of love has imprinted itself onto his grandchildren who will carry it with them until adulthood. My mother still spent as much time with her grandchildren and was especially close to my niece who seems to have a “secret pact” with my mother! My niece calls my mother frequently just to chat with her like an old friend rather than a grandmother. Now, they have both passed on into the light. I hope that as time passes, the memories our children had with their grandparents will always be recalled when they themselves are one day parents of their own. As for my generation, I hope that we have the grace to be like our parents before us in the way they have imparted their love, knowledge and lessons in life.
Truly the verse does apply in my family as has been shown to me numerous times. God could not be everywhere, so he really did make grandparents who in this case did make a good job of dispensing His love, teachings, faith and imparting their wisdom of life to the grandchildren. God bless all grandparents alike, for you are the ones who make a difference to our children.