The Most Special People in Your Life

 A belated Happy Grandparents Day!

I truly believe there is no one more special in your life than grandparents. The Lord blessed me with 4 of the most loving and caring people I could have every imagined being in my life. I’m lucky to still have 2 grandparents still living and sharing life with and lucky to have 15 and 23 years with my PaPa Frank and MaMa.

All of my grandparents were a big part of my life. My mom’s dad retired the Spring after I was born and was the one who babysit me for a while. Most of my memories from childhood include all four of my grandparents. Birthdays, holidays, vacations, weeks during the summer spent with each set, back to school clothes shopping, the laughs, the 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11 o’clock news, the quality time spent together. If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Grandparents are the people who love you more than anything else,

spoil you when your parents say no,

comfort you when you are sad,

send you mail with a little bit of money in it,

give you an escape from your parents,

take you on adventures,

are always there.

My mom’s parents. PaPa and MaMa to my sister and I.

My dad’s parents. Granny Jean and PaPa Frank to my sister and I.

This is my PaPa Frank. He was the first grandparent I lost as a 15 year old high school freshman. It was quick and unexpected. I learned what it was like to lose and grieve a grandparent for the first time losing him. It was hard, but such a sweet time of seeing how loved he was and how much he loved his family. One of my favorite memories is once he was making a peanut butter sandwich (for me I think) and yelled out from the kitchen to the living room “Jean, does the peanut butter go in the refrigerator?” The other day my roommate but her peanut butter in the refrigerator and that was the first thing I thought of.

mama

This is my MaMa. I lost her on Valentine’s Day. my senior year of college. This women knew what it was like to love and she did it well. And her strength. I can only hope to have a portion of her strength one day. As I sit here and tear up typing, I don’t even know where to begin with this one. She was always there and always loving, even when she didn’t feel well or feel like it. She loved sending mail and it was my favorite thing to receive. Usually it was a little handwritten note with newspaper clippings, random papers she had picked up somewhere, old pictures she had found, but it always put a smile on my face. Towards the end when things started not going well, she would get my grandfather to write for her, so we would still get her letters. P.S. The tearing up is now full on tears at this point. So I’ll leave more for another day.

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This is my Granny Jean. I get my sense of style and love of travel from her. Once we met her while traveling and I told her that I liked her necklace and wanted it, so she took it off and gave it to me. She has been to most of the states in the US and see many and many of sites. I love listening to her talk of her travels and the places she has been and sites she has seen. Every summer, when we would go stay with her for a week, one morning, we would always go volunteer with her at the Garner Area Ministries, a local thrift store that helps those in need. She taught me to serve and serve joyfully. She also shares my love of The Bachelor, so those are fun conversations to have.

And this is my PaPa. There will never be enough words to describe this man and how thankful I am to have him in my life. Not only do I see a grandparents love for their grandchild, I see Jesus’ love for his children in him. He loves his family so well, always has and always will. As I sit here and try to come up with words I can’t. He is someone so special to me and who I love dearly. Two things really stick out though. The first is, growing up, every time we spent the week with him or spent the night with him, when I would go in his room in the morning, he would be reading his Bible. I never saw him not start his day that way. Looking back, I’m so thankful that I have that example in my life. The second is playing Chinese Checkers with marbles from the glass jar night after night, day after day. He’s so good at it and would always show us the multiple jump moves we could make, always teaching and showing us new things.

I am so glad for a good relationship with my grandparents and pray that one day my children can have the same relationship and memories that I have with their grandparents.

Go call your grandparents and just chat for a while, trust me, it will be as good for your soul as it is for theirs.

xoxo ashley

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