elder handsA friend of mine received the following letter from an 80 year old friend of hers.  Because of its message, we thought it was important to share.
“Dear Kendra,
We are very sad about our granddaughter and her husband. Her name is Jessica.  She was our lst grandchild and we spoiled her the most. Since getting married and working and busy, busy with their life we never see Jess. No calls, emails or never just drop over.

We see them once in a while on birthdays or Easter or something like that but never aside from that.

If I lived in the same town as my grandparents I would not claim being busy as an excuse. You make some time when you want to. I would at least call or drop over to see them every couple of months. We did for our parents and grandparents. We never regret we did, we know we would regret it had we not have.

The are typical religious people. Big on talk, church going but not the best Christians in my mind. I know better Christians who never go near a church. Even if they weren’t the religious type, we always made time for our grandparents, it is the respectful, loving thing to do. No more we guess.

It makes us so very sad. Actions not words are what count.

They never stop by.  We assume we are hopeless/worthless to them anyway.

This is why Olive and I do not want a church service or anything “if” we die. We don’t want people showing up after we are dead that would never take the time to visit while we are alive. I am sure our granddaughter and husband would be at the funeral if we had one. No thank you. That won’t be when we needed them, we need them now.”

This is such a sad reminder of how the elders in our society, the ones with the most experience and wisdom, the ones with so many stories to share, are being left out of our lives.  In our disposable society, they have become just one more inconvenient part of life.
While I do think that this beginning to change as more family homes are becoming multi-generational (perhaps this is one good thing that is coming out of our poor economy),  I believe that it needs to change more quickly.  Our elders need to know that they DO have worth, that they ARE a respected part of our society and that we enjoy their company.
So while I know that most of you who visit this website are already caregivers and have a relationship with your parent or loved one, what I would like to ask you to do is to encourage your CHILDREN to call and visit.  I know that for myself, I have not done enough of that, especially with my son.  I’m going to change that right now.


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