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I still have vivid memories of my great-aunt seeding and peeling off the skin of grapes for me to eat. I enjoy thinking about the times my mom dropped me off at another great-aunt’s home and how we would walk to a store and she would buy me my favorite chocolates from the candy counter. I remember my paternal grandmother teaching me to make home made flour tortillas and the love and care she put into making dozens of freshly made tortillas every morning for her family to have for breakfast. My maternal grandmother has always been willing to remove whatever accessory she’s wearing and immediately gift it to you if you just mention that it’s pretty.

I grew up surrounded by women who generously gave all of themselves to their children and grandchildren and I pray I can be at least a little bit like them.

My paternal grandmother passed away just a few months ago and I still feel the void of her absence. Although during her last years she suffered senile dementia, she never forgot my face and always greeted me with the biggest hug and smile and made sure I had my freshly made tortillas for breakfast even though it wasn’t her making them. I just visited her home and it was so hard to not see her but I still remembered the good life she lead and the blessing it was to have her for 31 years of my life.

We were recently visited by my great-aunt who bought me chocolates. She taught my mom how to bathe me and take care of me since my grandmother was in a different country. She wouldn’t let my mom leave her house until she thought she could handle a newborn. As I talked to her she reminded me of some fun times we spent together and shared some anecdotes of my childhood that I barely remember. I was so thankful to be able to spend some time with her and enjoyed seeing my children immediately bond with her although this was just the second time they’ve seen her in their whole lives.

Living far away from my hometown has been hard but we have always made sure we get to see grandparents at least once a year. We have been blessed to be back in the U.S. and able to see them more often.

As I see my kids playing with their grandparents I can’t help but realize how blessed we are to be able to spend time with them.

I want to teach my children to realize all their grandparents give to them and to appreciate the time they get to spend with them. I wish I could pay back at least a little bit of what they’ve done for me and teach the boys to cherish the moments they get to spend with them. I want them to love and enjoy their great-grandmothers for as long as they can. I hope some day they will understand that loving and caring for our elderly family members is a blessing. I hope that as they grow older the get even closer to their grandparents and great-grandmothers and that they treasure the moments they spend with them.

How do you encourage your children to enjoy spending time with their older family members?

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Ana Gaby.  You can find Ana Gaby blogging at Stumble Abroad.

Photo of author’s son with his maternal great grandmother.  Photo credit to the author.

Ana Gaby

Ana Gaby is a Mexican by birth and soul, American by heart and passport and Indonesian by Residence Permit. After living, studying and working overseas, she met the love of her life and endeavored in the adventure of a lifetime: country-hopping every three years for her husband’s job. When she's not chasing her two little boys around she volunteers at several associations doing charity work in Indonesia and documents their adventures and misadventures in South East Asia at Stumble Abroad.

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