Every first Sunday after Labor Day is National Grandparents Day, and we have Marian McQuade to thank for that. As a young girl, Marian spent many happy days in the company of her grandmother at the family farm in West Virginia.
“I remember she worked all day doing the things all of them had to do—milk cows, feed the chickens, fix breakfast, do the washing,” Marian shared in an interview. “Then she’d put on a clean apron, or turn her apron around, and we’d take a glass of jelly and see somebody a couple miles down the road that was sick.
“Most of these neighbors were elderly,” Marian continued. “I’ll never forget talking with those delightful people. That’s where my respect and love for old people got started.”
For years starting in the early 1970s, Marian began lobbying politicians to create a holiday for grandparents as a way to encourage children to spend time with their elders and to visit residents of nursing homes. When the proclamation establishing the holiday finally was signed in 1979, Marian was 60 years old and a grandmother of 14.
“People should realize that grandparents are the backbone of the American family life because youngsters gain so much wisdom and knowledge from them,” Marian told the audience of the TV show Not for Women Only, helmed by Barbara Walters.
Amada Senior Care recognizes the value that grandparents bring to the lives of those around them. Whether this Sunday on National Grandparents Day or really any day of the year, we encourage members of all generations to make time to speak to or visit a grandparent or elder and show appreciation for all they’ve given. To celebrate, a few of Amada’s franchise partners shared memories of their own grandparents that highlight the many reasons why grandparents are so special.
They know how to make us feel loved.
“Every year right before my birthday, my grandma would ask me, ‘What color?’ She would then make me a tall, airy angel food cake with fluffy buttercream frosting for my special day. She would tint the cake and the frosting both with whatever color I chose – pink, purple, turquoise, etc. The frosting was layered on about an inch thick! I loved it! Now it actually makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it!”
-Johanna Paschal, Amada Senior Care North San Antonio
They teach us valuable life lessons.
“My Pop-Pop, Arthur Hill (1912-2014) was one of the most influential male figures in my life and he taught me very valuable life lessons, like how to hunt and how to treat women. He is the main reason why I wanted to lead a home care company. The light went off when I observed the satisfaction on my Pop-Pop’s face when his caregiver would start her shift. I said to myself, ‘This is what a value-added service is all about. I can do this!’ It was an honor to learn from him, to listen to him and most importantly be there for him as he grew old and needed assistance in daily living.”
-Kevin Fehr, Amada Senior Care Nashville
They are our heroes.
My grandfather came to the United States in 1952. He was a tailor, and he moved here with only his skilled trade and put away enough money to bring the rest of the family here in 1955, when my mother was eight years old. From my grandfather, who developed Parkinson’s, I learned the importance of providing care for family, taking care of your own and being there when a loved one needs you
–DR Salerno, Amada Senior Care Advisor
They provide us with some of our best memories.
“I LOVED going to the dairy farm where my grandparents lived. There was always lots of activity and good food. I remember lying in bed very early in the morning and hearing all the noises as the work began. As my grandpa (Papaw) and uncles would head to the barn, my grandma (Nanny) would start making the food for the day. It would not be long until I smelled the coffee percolating, bacon cooking and the sizzle of frying eggs. After the morning chores were done, everyone would gather around the table for wonderful food and lots of conversation. After lunch there were afternoon chores until it was time to milk the cows in the evening. I loved going into the barn and smelling the fresh milk and cream, and hearing the sound of the electric milk machines. As I think back to those times, I have fond memories. My grandparents modeled hard work that reaped wonderful rewards. They enjoyed life and loved spending time with their family. Today, when I smell bacon frying and fresh baked bread, it reminds of wonderful days spent with my Nanny and Papaw.”
–Mell Fleming, Amada Senior Care Johnson County, KS
“I grew up living a couple of hours from my grandparents who lived on the lake in the country. Some summers I would go stay with them for part of the break. Those days were filled with my Grandpa teaching me how to shoot a BB gun and the smell of my Grandma’s fresh baked bread. To this day my best memories revolve around a pocketknife, a fishing pole and taking off all day into the woods.”
–Troy Tice, Amada Senior Care North Houston
They continue to inspire us.
“Happy Grandparents Day to my Grandpa Bert. I miss you every day! Grandma Zora, I hope when I’m 98 I’ll be smiling just like you.”
-Kimberlee Crosby, Amada Senior Care Vancouver, WA
Amada Senior Care encourages everyone to take a moment to honor the grandparents in their lives.
“Grandparents Day: Honoring Our Beloved Aging Elders” written by Taylor French and updated by Michelle Flores, Amada blog contributors.