The Greatness of Grandparents and Grandfriends

By Wendy Johnstone
September 10, 2009

The first Sunday after Labour Day in September is known throughout Canada and the United States as Grandparents Day.

According to Legacy Project:

Grandparents Day was initiated in the early 1970s at the grassroots level by West Virginian Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, with the behind-the-scenes support of her husband Joseph L. McQuade. They had 15 children, 43 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. After being married for over 60 years, Mr. McQuade passed away in 2001. Mrs. McQuade passed away in 2008. Mrs. McQuade wanted Grandparents Day to be a family day. On a societal level, National Grandparents Day gives us a chance to publicly affirm the identity and importance of grandparents, that they do play a vital role in families. It is also a day of giving – giving of self, sharing hopes, dreams, and values, and setting an example for future generations.

There are three purposes for National Grandparents Day:

1. To honour grandparents/grandfriends

2. To give grandparents/grandfriends an opportunity to show love for their children’s children

3. To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

Legacy Project also tells us that Mrs. McQuade’s unending work to establish and publicize the holiday marks her as a true community leader. She spent much of her life advocating for older adults. In 1979, Mrs. McQuade finally achieved her biggest goal – President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labour Day each year as National Grandparents Day (September was chosen to signify the “autumn” years of life). In part, the proclamation reads:

Grandparents tie us to the past and connect us to the future. They enrich and enhance our lives by making the link to historical events, their values and beliefs and life experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether it’s a grandparent, great-great uncle or your retired neighbour who adores your children, our aging populations continues to play a vibrant and vital role in the community upbringing and nurturing of our children. They also provide our society a link to our national heritage and traditions.

Why not have your very own customized Grandparents or Grandfriends Day celebration as close to September 13th as possible?

We make a BIG deal about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and, sometimes, even Secretary Day. So, why not make a GRAND deal about Grandparents and Grandfriends Day?

For our Grandfriends Day, we are choosing to honour our lovely neighbour, Auntie Margo, who delights Carly to no end. We are grateful for her Carly-sitting services and the joy and spirit she brings with her. We decided to celebrate her importance with an afternoon tea at our place – she is a very special Grandfriend!
Some ideas to honour grandparents/grandfriends:

(To the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands)

Grandparents you are special, yes you are! (clap, clap)

Grandparents you are special, yes you are! (clap, clap)

We love you through and through

And we know you love us too.

Grandparents you are special, yes you are! (clap, clap)

If I could choose a Grandma I’d choose you! (point to their Grandma)

If I could choose a Grandma I’d choose you! (point to their Grandma)

We love you through and through

And we know you love us too.

Grandparents you are special, yes you are! (clap, clap)

If I could choose a Grandpa I’d choose you! (point to their Grandpa)

If I could choose a Grandpa I’d choose you! (point to their Grandpa)

We love you through and through

And we know you love us too.

Grandparents you are special, yes you are! (clap, clap)

There are plenty more songs to choose from. The above song was found online at Legacy Project. If you are inclined with rhyming and song – create your own. But, you would need to send it to everyone so that we could use it next year!

We are choosing to celebrate the special tea with a simple invitation and certificate, as well as a cute photo of Carly holding up her Happy Grandparents Day 2009 sign for Auntie Margo.

Now that we are experts with the web cam, we are planning to serenade Nana J with her Grandparents Day song!

Let me know how you are spending Grandparents Day and what activities you have planned!

 

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