Grandparents – the pillars of the family

Grandparents are possibly the most important people in a family; they’ve been around enough to know better and they’ve been around enough to know not to tell you so! They are like a comfort blanket or a favourite cuddly toy, something we always go back to for more. We know their arms are always open wide, their kisses are sincere and their hearts are there for us no matter what. Who hasn’t been slipped a sneaky coin in the palm of their hand and looked up to see nanna or grandad wink and put their fingers to their lips, signing a secret between you?

We also know that all grandparents’ time is limited and this is why we should make more of an effort in our daily lives to fit more ‘grandparent’ time in. I speak for myself when I say that too frequently, a week goes by and I haven’t been to see my nan. Not because I don’t want to – I love going there, she always has freshly made cakes and an interesting conversation whilst the twins slowly wreck her house around us. But, because the week slipped me by – shopping, ironing, gardening, twin club, blogging and heaven knows what else. I get to Friday and wonder what on earth I’ve done with all that time?

I don’t know about you but I love listening to their stories. Their time as youngsters was very different to ours, the hardships were greater, the rules sterner and life was harsher. Many have lived through two wars and can remember them vividly. The heartbreak of losing friends, colleagues and family to gunpowder will never leave their bones and is a subject they never tire of talking about.

Recently, I have spoken to a friend who sadly lost her grandad to an aggressive cancer, a man whose mother no longer remembers her past, her friends, her possessions, he is thankful she still recognises him, but for how much longer? A lady whose 90-year-old grandmother is in hospital, her legs swelling beyond belief and the doctors who don’t know what the problem is. And a family member who lost her mother after a 10 year battle against cancer leaving three grandchildren behind and a heartbreak that only time and love will heal.

Our ‘oldies’ bring an anchor to our lives, they are the family encyclopedia. They can reel off every medicine in the pharmacy and know what it’s for and how many times a day it should be taken. They can complete the Daily Telegraph crossword which is genius in itself and they know how to hug a child, dry up tears with a biscuit and when everything in life turns upside down, they are there to help pick up the pieces and put it all back in the right place again.


My grandmother who was 90 last year. Her name is Nona, an unusual name. She is completely independent and loves walking, reading, art and crosswords. She can make a cake to melt any dieting willpower you may harbour. Knit, sew and enjoys spending her time doing puzzles.

Roy, Paul’s dad, will be 80 in September. He is also completely independent, irons his shirts on Saturday morning, adores an all-day breakfast, flies his model aeroplanes that he constructs himself and can brew a proper cuppa.

They keep each other company. Their motto is – Life is too Short and they are living every minute they can to the full. If it were in my power I would have them around for the rest of my days but sadly, that won’t be the case so I must make sure to ‘fit them in’ as frequently as I possibly can because when they’re gone, they’re gone and there will be no coming back.

I know they both read my blog as they both have laptops and are computer savvy so I shall take this opportunity to thank them both for everything they do for us and remind them that I love them both dearly.


  1. Frankie Parker
    July 6, 2011 / 12:57 PM

    How great that the two grandparents are keeping each other company now, jsut proves that you can make friends at any age..

    • Mari
      July 6, 2011 / 1:19 PM

      Absolutely right and without each other I don’t think either of them would be so happy but stuck inddors with nothing to do and no one to talk to. Old age can be a very lonely place

  2. July 6, 2011 / 12:24 PM

    My fave picture so far I think this week and also lovely and meaningful words. Another tear-jerker too.

    • Mari
      July 6, 2011 / 1:18 PM

      Thank you, they do look classic grandparents don’t they?

  3. Jenny Paulin
    July 6, 2011 / 1:28 PM

    Your grandma does nt look 90!! How wonderful that she and Paul’s grandad Roy get on so well. That photo is brilliant it looks like Paul is being given some advice there by his grandad :) xx

  4. Sarah @Sarh
    July 6, 2011 / 3:35 PM

    awww aren’t they amazing.
    Thanks for the lovely words today x x x

  5. July 6, 2011 / 2:52 PM

    Is Nona an Italian name? I had a friend who had a Nona? She looks fabulous! What a lovely post. x

  6. SAHMlovingit
    July 6, 2011 / 3:58 PM

    That is such a lovely post Mari, so touching and heartfelt. I adore the terms you’ve used like ‘pillars of the family’ and ‘family encyclopedia’ and the other ones. So, so true.

    I *love* the fact they are computer savvy and will read your post.


  7. Funky Wellies
    July 6, 2011 / 7:49 PM

    Such a lovely post, very moving too, and I love the photo.

  8. July 6, 2011 / 7:54 PM

    What a great post about history and family. They certainly look like a group that is up with it all. Computer savy eh! We show you youngsters!

  9. July 6, 2011 / 8:09 PM

    I love your grandparents! They look way younger than their years, and how fab that they are just getting on with it all. My mum, unfortunately, is very morose about life as an older person, and as such has scared me off the whole idea. Your post has made me realise it is not necessary to be miserable about getting older – especially if you have interesting stories to tell!

  10. July 7, 2011 / 3:50 PM

    your post makes me miss my grandparents. i lost my last grandma last year and it seems that it never sunk in that she’s gone. i still think she’s alive in California at times.

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