We all come to this world as someone’s child, grow up to the adulthood and become someone’s life partner. We become someone’s parent and as the time passes, we become a grand parent. And if lucky enough, some of us even become great grandparent.
It used to be a social tradition and is still common in some countries that the grandparents live together with the rest of the family. This commonly is called a joint family culture. But as the world is changing, the social customs are also different these days. Many grandparents today languish in nursing homes or retirement communities while their children and grandchildren live far away. This has created a huge generation gap and the children these days rarely understand the importance of the role of grandparents in their life. If well managed, both the grand child and the grand parents can be of each others source of knowledge and company.
”A Pilgrim close by is neglected”
In the modern world, the parents are more busy with their daily routines. The lack of care that child gets from the parents can be fulfilled by the grandparents. Who, on the other hand may be lonely and need someone to share the retirement of their life. In fact, grandchildren can learn a lot from the grandparents through all the experiences they may have encountered throughout their life.
I am one of those fortunate children who has spent the precious moments with the grandparents. Specially my grandfather had a very close bond with me. He was the person who taught me to walk this earth, speak the first word and even eat. Because i spent first four years of my life with my grand father.
The bond broke the day I left Nepal at the age of four and went to Calcutta a city in India to live with my parents. The environment was different and the society as well. There I learnt the common language Bengali and Hindi. I become nostalgic when I remember about those days that I used to collect my then friends who belonged to the poor neighborhood and used to bring them home for food. All I learnt there was the language because I used to spend most of my time with them. This effected me a lot when later at the age of nine I returned back to Nepal.
This time the language and the culture and even the society was different to me. I had a huge difficulty in understanding Nepali language in the school. And my grandfather was the one to help me get through this. Again, this time also he was the one to teach me to talk, read and write. He used to separate a part of his meal and save for me. Run after me hours just to feed me home produced pure honey. In another hand, I hated honey. But he never gave up. It was all because he wanted to make me healthy by feeding such foods. When i used to be sick and refused to take medicines, he used to wrap those medicines in some kind of sweet like rolls so that i get distracted from the medicine and eat it along with those rolls.
The day I completed School, he was the happiest person in my family. It was a huge celebration day when I returned home from School with a certificate in my hand. He had gathered some of his friends and neighbors and were waiting for me. I was welcomed with flowers and Abir (A traditional red colored powder used to honor someone). He was always part of every important moment of my life in those days.
After the School I moved to the capital city Kathmandu for further studies. Totally new environment and strange for me. After all those years of village life and suddenly in the city environment was really difficult for me. As I used to be a decent child brought up in a family with harsh financial conditions, I knew nothing about the city cultures and the way of life. I remember very well that, it used to be chilling cold weather in Kathmandu and my grandfather was in the city to see me. Quickly realizing the situation, he took off his coat and left it for me so that I could use it to keep myself warm while out in that weather condition.
Me on the other hand being decent and someone who just arrived from the village, used to go to the college putting on the same coat my grandfather left for me. Not realizing and even caring about what others might have thought to see me with a male coat on, I used to wear that coat on a regular basis until I managed to have my own. That coat of my grandfather was not just a cloth but it was the symbol of his care, love and protection.
These days, when I remember about those days, I feel a bit embarrassed. But the immense love and care which my grandfather showed me makes me feel really proud and lucky. I had very few chances to show my grandfather that I do care about him as well. Living in the remote village of Nepal, where electricity used to be far from reach, my grandfather was very fond of listening to the radio. So I used to present him cell batteries for the radio whenever I went to see him in the village. At a time, we had differences about political beliefs which sometimes turned to bitter discussions. But, that never effected the bond we had with each other
Just to continue the further journey of my life, i moved to Europe twelve years before. Still maintaining the bond between each other, sometimes I used to call and talk with him. Last year my very own father passed away and I was in Nepal to complete the death rituals in a family. My grandfather at the age of ninety five plus was heartbroken to see his Elder son (My father) pass away. I was lucky enough to visit him in the mourning of my father’s death. Because yesterday 10th of February 2017 I was informed that my beloved grandfather has passed away. I feel like it was yesterday that we spent hours talking about our life and family. No one is ever immortal. True and entirely accepted fact. But, it’s so hard to embrace the reality of losing someone so close to the heart.
He spent his entire life as a loyal social worker. And seeing the similar character in me, I feel like as if i have inherited this from him. Since he was one of my greatest sources of inspiration, I had planned to write about him in my upcoming articles. But couldn’t stop myself and wrote it now.
”May your soul rest in eternal peace grandfather. I will miss you for my entire life. If I ever will get chance to become a grandparent, I will try my best to follow your foot steps”
Let your children be close to their grandparents :- Because …
- For any grand parents, their grand children are the most valuable in their life.
- Grand children can learn the values and norms of the society and the importance of a family relationship from the grand parents because obviously they have experienced so much in their life.
- Children desperately in need of parent’s care and guidance can be fulfilled by the grand parents when their very own parents are not able to manage due to certain circumstances. Particularly when the parents are separated.
- When the grandchildren and the grandparents spend time with each other, it helps both of them to be stress free. It’s another story if the grandchildren get annoyed to be close to the grandparents. Its parents’ responsibility to explain them the importance of their grandparents in their life.
- Parents who show great love and respect towards the grandparents of their child can expect the same behavior from their child when they get old and become grandparents.
- Physically and mentally healthy grandparents can become the role model for the grand children. As for me, my grandfather was as an iron man. Because he was living without any chronic disease, could walk healthily and never ever needed an eye glass at the age of ninety five plus.