Remembering (Great) Grandparents

Remembering (Great) Grandparents
My children are fortunate enough to have had two great grandparents in their lives. They knew my paternal grandmother who passed away when my youngest child was five, and they are blessed to have a relationship with my 100-year old maternal grandfather.

Not only do I feel it is important for my children to see their great grandfather as often as possible (we live in different states, so it’s not that easy), but I also feel it is important for them to maintain the memory of their great grandmother.

One can find a lot of information on helping children deal with the death of a great grandparent, but how does a mom help her children sustain a lasting memory and relationship with a deceased loved one?

Tradition Every year on my grandmother’s birthday, I take my children to I-Hop. It was my grandmother’s restaurant of choice before she died. We go to I-Hop to have pancakes for dinner and to seek out a grandparent whom we can buy dinner for. This has become a beautiful way for my children to honor the memory of my grandmother, their great grandmother.

Pictures We keep pictures of my grandmother up around the house. Thankfully, there is a picture of GG holding each of the children when they were babies, and there are group pictures of my children with my grandmother throughout the years. These pictures have become very meaningful. My children also love seeing pictures of my grandmother and me when I was younger. They notice that she had the same wallpaper in the kitchen when I was little.

Everyday Stories I try to talk about GG all the time. And, I talk about her husband – my beloved Poppy Harold- who died before I turned 13. My children really relate when I talk about my father – their poppy – as a boy, growing up with his mom, GG. When I wear her jewelry, I am sure to mention it. When we are cleaning a shelf with one of the treasures I inherited from her on it, I point it out. I use the ugly green plate that was such a part of her kitchen and my childhood with pride – and my children always hear that it belonged to GG.

Her Recipes My grandmother was famous for her cooking. Her matzo ball soup, her chocolate chip and sugar cookies, and her cottage cheese pancakes were some of my favorites. When I need a dose of grandma, I make cottage cheese pancakes and slather them with grape jelly. Though none of my children are brave enough to try them, they still see (and smell) the memory of their GG. The famous chocolate chip cookies? Turns out, the recipe was none other than the one on the back of the Tollhouse Chocolate Chip package.

My grandmother was a remarkable woman. Though it pains me she is no longer with us, I am so grateful that my children had the opportunity to know her. I will continue to keep her memory alive in their hearts through her stories, her recipes, and her treasures.


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