Thursday, May 31, 2012


I feel incredibly blessed to grow up knowing both sets of my grandparents. I even had the opportunity to know my maternal great-grandparents throughout my childhood, and have fond memories of times at their house. I also met my paternal great-grandparents, but I was so young, I don't remember much.

I was named after my paternal great-grandmother, and consider it a privilege to be named for someone who raised such wonderful children. I am - without a doubt - a product of my parents, and it's neat to see the characteristics that are carried down throughout the generations.

My dad's parents live in a retirement community in Lancaster County, PA. They have lived there for a number of years, so many of my adult memories are of times spent in the apartment they've lived in for over 10 years. Just recently, they moved into another part of the facility. As they age, they've realized the need for further care, care they just can't provide for themselves.

There is still something so very sweet about them. While they don't show each other much physical affection, the love that they have for each other overwhelms me. My grandpa cares for my grandma with such ferocity. Equally there is this incredible tenderness with with he tends to her needs. But lately, his eyes have been causing him issues and he is nearly blind in both eyes. So he hasn't been able to do the things he once did.

A few weeks ago, I went to visit them with my cousins. It was the first time I saw their new place. It's smaller but still great for them. They are on the first floor now (previously they had a second floor apartment), and so my grandma was telling me about the ducklings that were frequently outside their bay window. And sure enough, while we were there, they came (about 10 of them) to get water out of this tiny water basin.

I asked them if I could take a picture of them. When I sat them together, my grandma was in her recliner and my grandpa sat stiffly in a folding chair next to her. They are both very stoic. So I thought to capture individual shots of both of them. As I focused on my grandpa, I treated him as though he were a kid in front of my lens, and said, "SMILE, grandpa!" and gave his knee a little squeeze. He smiled SO big...a genuine smile I've not seen in awhile. And then I told my grandma to smile and - well - you see the result below.  I know there is a glare from her glasses, but I really like her expression. She is going to be 92 this August...unbelievable! And on Tuesday, June 5, they will celebrate sixty-nine years of marriage.

This, my friends, is a picture of my grandparents. I am so happy to be part of their family, and grateful for the support they've offered. While I don't get to see them very often, I know they love hearing about my goings-on and regularly pray for me. What a joy to have grandparents who may not show you the outward affection, but passionately love you on the inside.

Pin It