September 1, 2013
Grandparents Day will be celebrated throughout the United States on September 8, 2013. Make it a special day in your family, church and school.
Paying more attention to our grandparents might lead to more success in life. Do not forget that they have already traveled the road we are on. It may be difficult to imagine that our grandparents once were little babies just like all of us were.
For seven unbelievable years, they were full-blown teenagers. Then they moved into the years of major responsibility.
Our grandparents have dealt with everything we expect to be involved in at some time during our life. Grandpa and grandma have done it all.
To children and teenagers time seems so long traveling into the future. For grandparents, it all seems to have gone by so quickly. There are days, when if the weather is just right, we can almost smell favorite foods our own mother and grandmother cooked.
I can relive experiences with my dad of hunting, making something out of wood, cutting a tree, trekking into a snow covered pine grove to find a suitable Christmas tree, learning to shoot a gun, playing baseball and basketball.
One of the things I enjoyed with my Grandpa Perry was to hear him tell stories about his youth. I remember many experiences with my maternal grandparents – spending many a night with them. Grandma made biscuits each morning for breakfast and cornbread for the noon and evening meals that we called dinner and supper. Grandma often had molasses cookies and baked meat skins. We now call them “pork rinds”.
My grandfather Ellis died at age 56 when my dad was nine years old. I do not know much about him. Dad told me he was involved with cattle that he would sell to the coal company stores. He also had a horse drawn meat wagon. He would ring his large handheld bell to let people know he was in their neighborhood. Dad, as a little boy, often went with his dad and had a small bell he would ring.
Mom’s parents were Margaret Jane Short who was married to Alex Perry. Dad’s parents were Octavia Hodge who was married to William Hamilton Ellis. Octavia was a widow for 34 years, from 1913 until she died in 1947.
National Grandparents Day will be observed this year on Sunday, September 8. The United States Senate recognized Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, WV, as the founder of National Grandparents Day. Senator Jennings Randolph, Senator Robert C. Byrd and the state of West Virginia Governor, Arch Moore, were instrumental in bringing the bill for the formal recognition of this day to the desk of President Jimmy Carter, who signed the proclamation on August 3, 1978. I have had the privilege of meeting and talking with all four of these men.
Congress passed the legislation designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day “… to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.”
Grandparents were very important in Bible times. St. Paul wrote to Timothy, “… When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5 NKJ).
Grandparents will celebrate this day with their children and grandchildren if possible. Families in every nation need to be strengthened with love and respect.
© 2013 Wm. C. Ellis
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