Posts tagged ‘grandchildren’

Momisms and Popisms: Stuff Other People’s Parents Told Them

   A few weeks ago I posted a sampling of quotes I recall from growing up with a dad who was full of good information, and I asked for feedback from others who remember tidbits from their own childhoods.  I am enough of an inveterate divulger to remain astonished that not everyone leaps to share their personal experiences with the world at large.  But the smattering of responses I got, while small in number, were gems with no need of polishing.  Some are telling anecdotes that encapsulate a general philosophy and others, small snippets that might be stitched onto cloth and hung on the wall.

The invitation to contribute to this exchange still stands.  To grease the hinges on the vault door to your own memory archives, consider these offerings from fellow readers:

From my cousin … “Oooh, this advice [see 9/6/10 posting] sounds so familiar… possibly because my father was your father’s brother.  But also I love the way fathers give quintessentially practical advice, so precious for its sensible, unemotional quality.  It is their way of loving…and it truly helps you through life, for it stays with you.”

From a friend who knew me when … “For our 40th anniversary, our oldest son put together a DVD for us with pictures of my husband, Bobby, and me when we met, and of our early parenting years, along with recordings from old reel-to-reel tapes.  I cried happy tears as I heard my babies’ voices, plus those of my mom and dad, and even my beloved sheepdog, Pookie; voices gone from us for many years. 

“Two outstanding quotes from my mother were, ‘Did you learn to cook yet?’ and ‘You take care of Bobby and he’ll take care of you.’”

 From a fellow parishioner … “I recently found a card with this quote, in with a bunch of photos and such from my mother’s belongings.  I wish I had adopted this advice long ago but it has always been a weakness (part of the sin thing).  ‘The Art of Governing the Tongue, a quote from Benjamin Franklin:  The mouth of a wise man is in his heart.  The heart of a fool is in his mouth.’

“There are a lot of good things we could have learned from our parents, if we had only had our ears open and our mouths shut.”

And another jewel, from Ecclesiastes 7:5, on using discernment in who you listen to … “It is better to be criticized by a wise man than to be praised by a fool.” 

From a family friend whose father was in the Navy with my father … “Dad would say to me, ‘Well, I think we’ve learned something here, and nobody was killed!’, anytime a big lesson was learned or whenever some kind of momentous calamity occurred – and I caused more than my share. 

“For example, when I was around ten, I had a chemistry set and somewhere, I don’t remember where, I came up with the recipe for black (more…)

October 12, 2010 at 11:04 pm Leave a comment

Tough-Love Letters to a Troubled Teen – III

    Dear Maisie, 

I haven’t heard from anybody down there since you got invited to spend a long weekend with the local authorities, so I find myself piecing together a mental image of what your days might be like during this separation from home. It grieves me to picture you in that unfamiliar, institutional place, but perhaps you have been granted some precious time to think through your past and your present and your future. 

I feel helpless right now. Sort of like when Uncle J. has a severe insulin reaction and all I can do is flutter about and offer orange juice and stroke his neck and provide a cool, damp cloth for his brow. Except I can’t even do that much for you.  And at least with his temporary hypoglycemia, I can watch as he slowly returns to me and that glazed, distant stare begins to refocus, his words gradually starting to come together in full sentences and his mind re-engaging with the world around him. 

With you, I have no idea whether anything I do or say helps – or hurts; no gauge for whether my caring and worrying mean anything in the midst of the turmoil that swirls around you in the form of legal repercussions and family estrangement; no direct contact to allow me a sense of the disorientation you must feel, being wrenched from your daily routine and the cozy nest of your own neighborhood and circle of friends. 

I can only keep writing these weekly letters, as I have for the past few years, since long before you misstepped your way onto the “Down” escalator of self-defeating behaviors, and pray that something will click, and you’ll soon find your way back to us. 

For I believe with all of my heart that you are not a lost soul who has chosen doom for yourself. What nonsense! When all the possibilities of a sunny and contented future lie within such a short reach, why would you? Nothing can be so overwhelming that you and God and your many loving supporters together can’t handle it. 

My prayer and my urgent yearning is that you will release yourself from the drama and the heartache now, rather than later, and choose without delay for tomorrow to be your next bright day.  

                          Love you and miss you always, 

                                             Aunt Suz


September 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm 1 comment

Strengthening Family Ties

   Make it a top priority to work together as a family and keep in touch with one another.  Grandchildren and great-grandchildren learn a lot from sharing with each other.  Plan picnics and family get-togethers, and keep family traditions alive:  prepare beloved, old family recipes – everybody likes to eat!  But above all, be there for family emergencies and help each other out as much as possible.  Parents and grandparents, muster the patience and understanding to keep the doors open to all who want and need your help – or simply need to be listened to.  (5)

Try to visit parents or grandparents at least once a month.  They won’t always be there.  (53)

Flowery accolades every five years at milestone birthdays are nice, but don’t neglect grandma and grandpa in between these major events.  (54)

November 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Attitude Amending and Perspective Perfecting

Rich family blog photo  Many years ago I was sitting with a group of co-workers.  The oldest member of the group, who was 60-ish, was known for having a long and involved story in response to any question.  Someone asked him if he had any advice for the group and he said, “Don’t wish time away.  It is gone all too quickly by itself.”  And he stopped talking.  (26)  (more…)

September 9, 2009 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

A Christ-Believing Lutheran Pastor Speaks to His Children and Grandchildren

IMG_0010  To our adult children:  We thank the Lord every day for you, and for your spouse.  Whatever contribution we as Christian parents made to each of you being the person you are, we also recognize our shortcomings. Therefore we thank our Father in Heaven for having molded you by His Word. Continue to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), pray earnestly for them, and set them an example of faithfulness to the Word of God in word and deed.  As you love your children, it will return to you – a treasure as you grow older. (more…)

June 27, 2009 at 1:46 am 1 comment

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