Pope Francis tweeted, last week, "Grandparents are a treasure in the family. Please, take care of your grandparents: love them and let them talk to your children!"

I agree with Pope Francis’ advice.

I have a few friends who rarely see their grandchildren. This would break my heart, if I didn’t see my grandkids. They are the highlight of my life.

I’d like to share some counsel by Elder Richard L Evans.

"To be so long the center of a home, so much sought after, and then, almost suddenly to be on the sidelines watching the procession pass by – this is living into loneliness. …"

"We have to live a long time to learn how empty a room can be that is filled only with furniture. It takes someone … beyond mere hired service, beyond institutional care or professional duty, to thaw out the memories of the past and keep them warmly living in the present. …"

"We cannot bring them back the morning hours of youth. But we can help them live in the warm glow of a sunset made more beautiful by our thoughtfulness … and unfeigned love."

OK, let’s think happy thoughts.

"If nothing is going well, call your grandmother." (Italian proverb)

Isn’t that the truth?

I never thought I would be a grandparent, ever. I am far too young, just a baby.

“Every house needs a grandmother in it." – Louisa May Alcott

"Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap." (Doug Larson)

 

However, when I was a young mom with kids still at home, I loaded my kids, all seven of them, and drove cross country to see the grandparents.

The drive was grueling, kids fighting, with no electronics, no cell phones and if we had a small television, the TV was bungee corded and duct-taped on the top of the ice chest.

The only time we got a connection was in the big cities. But it kept the kids busy, trying to tune into a station.

"What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies." (Rudolph Giuliani)

I used to compare those cross-country trips to locking myself with seven kids in the bathroom for two days or 23 hours, whichever came first.

And when we arrived at the grandparents’ house, it was a joyous reunion on the front steps of my Mulberry Street home.

After the kids spilled out of the car, onto the sidewalk, they were dancing, singing, running to the bathroom, unpacking, throwing the football, and rushing inside to see if Grandma had made chicken pot pie and strawberry jam.

How I miss my mom and dad!

"Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete." (Marcy DeMaree)

"Sometimes our grandmas and grandpas are like grand-angels." (Lexie Saige)

It was a wonderful time, in our family life.

The kids would race to the kitchen phone and call their cousins. Some of the cousins had already arrived.

Grandpa was out on the sidewalk, sitting in his mesh red-and-blue chair. He’d ask the kids to come to him, then he’d whisper, "You know they are looking for you ... the squirrels, they think you are nuts".

Everyone would laugh.

"A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart." (unknown).

Remember, the good Lord gave all of us grandparents.

"Young people need something stable to hang on to -- a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them." (Jay Kesler)

Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at jacksoncountyfamilyweek@yahoo.com or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.