Monday, October 02, 2006

Grandparents are a critical link

From an article by Kidsfirst founder Margo MacPhail:

"Knowing they are part of a long line of family history, personal experiences and a childhood filled with family relationships to share with their own children one day, will not only help them in their life’s journey in discovering who they are but moreover provides a family connection during a time when their family is disconnecting."

Margo is a child of divorce, so she's writing from personal experience. Like Margo, I see, especially in hindsight, the importance of grandparents in the life of the child of divorce. My dad's parents flew me out every summer to spend several weeks with them. They are the main reason I maintained any contact with my dad. Because of them, I have a sense of history and belonging to the Steakley clan, along with a host of delightful memories--summers in the Illinois countryside, riding motorbikes and a riding mower, eating biscuits and gravy with all the old folks at a little dive of a restaurant, family potlucks in the garage, baby rabbits in a burrow along the house, frogs and crickets squawking all night long. I was their only grandchild, so I know it meant a lot to them; but I also know it required a lot. They had to keep in touch with a former daughter-in-law, my mother, if they wanted to arrange visits, get midyear updates, know how I did on my report card. There were years when they sacrificed their own time with me to send me on a visit with my dad. And they worked hard to make sure that he and I stayed in touch.

They're both gone now. I miss you, Ponci and Grandpa!

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