What was your relationship like with yours? How important/involved are they with your kids?
I was very lucky that both sets wanted to be involved in my life and were until they died (first one when I was 15, last at 28/29). I know now that all was not rosy in the adult world between the families, but everyone left the kids out of that and we had our own relationship which was great. So many fond memories.
My girls also have 2 sets of grandparents who love them to bits. D's parents have had them this week and mine are taking them for a week later in the summer.
It was a big shock when as an adult I found out some quite serious flaws with one grandparent.
I loved my Dad's mother (his father died before I was born).
I only found out as an adult that she had never wanted my dad to get married, and had thought he ought to stay at home and keep his brother (who never married, and lived with her until she died) company!
She was horrified when she found out that my Dad did housework!
My Mum's parents lived down the road from us, but I never felt particularly attached to them. Don't know why.
We didn't see a huge amount of our grandparents as both sets lived far away but I loved seeing them when we did and I have a lot of happy memories of them. My sister fell out with our Dad when my nephews were little so they didn't see him for 10 years which is a real shame. Once they got older they decided for themselves they wanted to contact him and now they visit him regularly. It was a shame though as by they and Dad missed out on what is a special relationship, especially when you are little.
I never met my mother's parents and whilst she spoke well of her dad, she didn't have a single kind word to say about her mother. My dad's parents were different - I was quite close to my grandma but granddad was a bit more distant, albeit your average comedy granddad. A generational thing, I think.
My kids have no contact with my parents. Haven't heard from my dad in about 8 years and my mum only ever gets in touch when there's a crisis. They're very damaging individuals and whilst at one time I would have tried to include them, they've both made it clear they're not interested. As such, I've taken the decision not to include them in our lives. The kids are now grown up and are all understanding of my reasons. I even went so far, after having a health scare last year, as to tell them not to bother telling them or inviting them to my funeral should I go first.
On their dad's side, his dad died before they were born and his mum was a real matriarchal type who didn't have a good word to say about anyone. My oldest child was close to her (and it shows in her attitude to people) but the other three don't really remember her.
With my current partner, all my kids have met his mum (dad died several years ago) and think she's fantastic, which she is, given that she's mad as a bag of frogs
my grandfather was a riot. a ridiculous big Dundonian shipbuilder with red hair and a huge moustache. an enormous personality, silly and funny. I idolised him. died when I was 8 or so.
if i'm brutally, I felt ok about it. i was a kid, selfish I suppose, and didn't consider that he was really gone.
Actually, it's now that I really miss him. I think that, as adults, we would have been, you know, mates. we would hung out, gone to football, and the pub. i love my father but i think as a man I think I had more in common with my grandfather.
My maternal grandparents were ill, and rather scary. They died while I was still a child. My paternal grandparents were wonderful, although I think now that my grandfather rather bullied my grandmother. They were a big influence on my life one way and another. But again, they died before I got married. When I google streetviewed their house it hurt. I try to tell my kids about them so they know something of their origins...
My maternal grandmother died before I was born. She was a single parent (a big deal in 1945) and it was only last year that I found out who my maternal grandfather was. I knew my dad's parents. Granny was lovely in her way, but I remember her as quite a severe woman. Papa was a hoot, very funny and really laid back. I have good memories of them, but was told as an adult that granny didn't think my mum was good enough for my dad to marry!
My lovely mum-in-law died when I was 34 weeks pregnant with my first baby. She was desperate to be a granny, and it was a time of very mixed emotions when baby arrived.When I was 20 weeks pregnant with no. 2, my mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She met both her grandchildren, but died in 2009 when they were 16 months and nearly 4. In 2010, 9 months after mum died, my dad died. My boys remember their grandpa and the older one has vague memories of his grandma. I still have moments of huge sadness that they won't see the boys grow up and share in all the milestones of their lives.
Happily, they still have their grandad. he adores them and they think the world of him. He lives 200 miles away, but they are very close and we see him as often as we can.
All mine were dead before I knew them What you've never had, you never miss...
Enjoy them, for we are all just passing through.
My grandfather was very much my hero growing up, worked in the RAF and he was one of the reasons i joined the cadets and ultimatley ended up in the marines, he was also a photographer and ive been doing that as a hobby/proffession since i was a kid and he bought me my 1st camera, He passed away last year and it cut me up pretty bad, I have since got a lot closer to my Nan, i visit her on pretty much all my days off. (mostly because she feeds me )
I had the ying and yang of Grandmothers, both my Grandfathers died when I was very young so have no memory of them. My Mum's Mum was the perfect greeting card Granny, everybody loved her and adopted her as their own, when she died the turnout was astonishing. A really genuinally lovely person.
My other Grandmother balanced this by being one of the most disgusting, nasty and vindictive pieces of crap that ever walked this earth, telling me I was adopted (I'm not) was one of her nicer moments. I could be here all day listing the things she did to my parents and us kids. She died when I was 15 and I remember getting the call first thing in the morning and I didn't even stop brushing my teeth when my brother told me.
I was really fortunate with Grandparents, although we lived a long way away, and there was little phone contact, I was always secure in the extended family. Now time has moved on and my children enjoy the same warmth from my parents. I guess you can't under-estimate the effect of role-modelling, even sub-consciously
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