Grandparents play important role in child’s upbringing

By Joan Clayton: Local Columnist

Sunday is Grandparents Day and I am again reminded of special memories. My Grandmother’s singing left a life-long impression on me.

Granny’s singing filled every facet of her life. She sang while cooking, gardening, churning butter, quilting, rocking her grandchildren and much more. She sang praises to her God every day.

Granny’s songs are permanently stamped upon my mind. I seldom have to look at a hymnal. I know most of them by heart for I learned them on my Granny’s knees.

Granny’s daybreak singing awakened me each morning. Her soft feather bed made it hard to get up. Yet the smell of biscuits on a wood burning stove and hearing her rendition of those faith-filled hymns beckoned me to the breakfast table. After Granddaddy’s prayer, he squeezed my knees, saying, “That’s how a horse eats corn!”

And I knew he loved me.

Granny’s daily advice still lingers in my memory’s file of blessings. “The Lord is sure good to us. Count your blessings every day and you will find priceless things you never knew you had.” Her advice will never get old or out of date.

My grandfather, humble and hard-working, never had trouble with insomnia. His nightly ritual consisted of cornbread crumbled up in a glass of fresh cow’s milk, sitting a while on the porch in the cool of the evening and telling me his favorite story before bedtime. “There was a brush arbor meeting. An arbor was an outdoor frame behind the preacher’s pulpit covered with boughs and twigs. One night, the preacher said, “O Lord, send fire right now. Some mean boys were hiding behind the arbor and set fire to it. The preacher exclaimed, ‘O Lord, I didn’t mean it!” Then Granddaddy laughed and laughed. At last he said, “Time for bed Mama.” Soon his head hit the pillow and I could hear him snoring.

Of all the memories, one stands out indelibly. When Granddaddy prayed in that little country church, he kneeled in front of the congregation and poured his heart out to God. Tears were shed and handkerchiefs were used before Granddaddy said, “Amen.”

My cousins and I will never forget the agony of waiting for Granddaddy to close his service station on Christmas Eve. Sometimes it would be 9 or 10 o’clock, for he “had to help some weary traveler on his way.” When at last he arrived we tore into our presents. Each one of us had a sack of chocolate drops, a peppermint stick, an orange and an apple. Other sacks had little cars for the boys and a little doll for me. We were all happy as kings. I can still hear Granddaddy’s laughter and I can still feel his love.

My grandparents’ love for each other enabled them to go through the hard years of the depression. They didn’t have much materially, but they had everything spiritually. They stored treasures in heaven. What a treasure box! It contained over 65 years of love and sacrifice.

The importance of grandparents in grandchildren’s lives cannot be overstated. Godly families build a strong nation. To me, living without lasting values is a wasted life. I want my grandchildren to have the blessing of a grandmother and grandfather’s faith.

My grandparents have been in their heavenly home for many years … that heavenly home Granny used to sing about. I will see them again. I will hear Granddaddy laugh and I will hear Granny sing.

I am filled with gratitude that I had grandparents who loved God and who loved me.

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6 KJV).

After all, grandparents have been bragging on you for a long time.
Now, it’s your turn!