IV World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

Grandparents and grandchildren: a bond that does good

Recently, I went out to meet young adults on their way to the sacrament of Confirmation in various parishes in our diocese. During these encounters, there’s always a part where everyone reveals a segment of their ‘little faith story’. It’s a richly emotional sharing, and very often grandparents are named as models of faith.

There’s this young man who modestly shares with us that his great-grandparents, bakers by profession, used to make bread, and, before baking, would turn it and engrave a small cross on it. This way of doing things has been handed down through the ages. Today, he doesn’t have the title of baker, but he makes the bread and repeats the same gesture religiously.

There are those meals that, even if the parents follow the recipe to the letter, don’t have the same flavor. Could the mysterious ingredient be the wisdom of age or the tenderness of a loving hand?

There’s this lady who shares with a twinkle in her eye the striking bond with her grandmother. Here’s how she describes her: My grandma is unconditional love, kindness, patience, comfort, life lessons and, above all, cookies. Having frequently seen her sign the cross, she said she was touched by the depth of this gesture, which encouraged her to get to know more about the God who was an integral part of her life.

For many, grandparents become a refuge, a place to listen without judgment. They are the lightning rod of life. They learn from their grandparents’ stories, which reveal where they belong, and enable them to integrate into their own history.

As a grandmother, I felt challenged to take on the role of “passer-by”: to take the time to tell our stories, so as to enable the transfer of cultural and religious traditions. May we, dear grandparents, be the furrow of humanity that our existence will have dug throughout our life’s journey. And above all, let us not forget those grandparents who have left their mark on our lives.

On July 28, World Day of Grandparents and Elders, why not seize the opportunity to highlight the richness of their existence… a wealth of life skills. A legacy to be passed on: through times of conversation, laughter, nature walks, meals, living together and doing together. A whole host of little pebbles on the path of life, so that together we can truly grasp the immensity of God’s presence at the heart of our lives.

Nicole Lecompte-Myre, Diocesan pastoral agent

Tools proposed by the Vatican’s Dicastery fWays to GiveorWays to Give the Laity, Family and Life