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Grandparents, You’re More Influential Than You Know

Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2024
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by Mary Elise Cosgray
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13 Comments
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I remember working on my online high school courses, staring at the laptop before me, scraping along until I could be done. I’d glance out the window and see a beautiful sight, one that reinvigorated my spirit.

My 80-year-old grandfather was sitting in his bright blue lawn chair, reading a philosophy book, with his sleeves rolled up and his Castle Rock ballcap on. He was propped up next to my grandmother’s garden beds, where she knelt while pulling up stubborn weeds or tilling dark brown soil. They spent hours out there in the sunshine, laboring their minds and hands, until their grandchildren would finish their studies and come out to visit.

Every Sunday morning, my mother’s parents could be found with a cup of coffee and a worn Bible before them. They would read the verses out loud to each other, taking notes and meditating on the Word.

My grandfather sends me emails weekly, with thought-provoking articles or inspiring stories attached.

My grandmother cooks her husband nutritious meals every day, taking care to purchase well-sourced products and using simple ingredients.

They have always resisted the temptation of comfort, in ways I have only recently begun to appreciate.

As a member of Gen Z, it often feels as though the daily struggle against selfishness, the resistance against mind-numbing comforts of modern life, and intentional pursuit of excellence is a task that has been long forgotten by my peers – a fanciful concept reserved for the Instagram fitness influencers or motivational speakers. 

My grandparents offer a profoundly stark contrast.

Nobody would blame the elderly couple if they ate less healthy, stopped exercising, omitted reading intellectually-stimulating literature, or put less work into their relations with family. Nobody would blame them if they spent all day in front of their TV, in the same way that I, as a young person, would not be judged for scrolling on my phone all day. We’re just human, after all!

In general, society normalizes the slow death of the soul through obsession with comfort.

The only sure way out of this hazy slumber is to recognize a higher calling. This is the drive my grandfather and grandmother find to propel them forward. This is the invitation they have accepted from their Creator: to stubbornly pursue the fullest of life, the most alive versions of themselves, until the end.

This is why they take care of their bodies, expand their minds, and refine their love of the souls around them.

As the great Catholic intellectual Pope Benedict XVI once precisely said, “You were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness.”

If we were made for greatness, the thinning of the veil between Heaven and earth stands as no reason for halting such a chase.

No matter one’s age, we must not give up the fight against sleepwalking to our graves. There are so many fruits still to be harvested, as my grandparents have shown me.

My grandparents continue to teach their grandchildren, by preventing the death of their soul before their body.

Mary Elise Cosgray is a writer for AMAC Newsline.

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Kay L Martin
Kay L Martin
21 days ago

Super article. One of the best these days. Thank you. I soooo love and obey The One TRUE Savior and God. All of my married children and numerous children are the reason I Am chose me for these difficult times to encourage all I know and adore.

Laurel Johnson
Laurel Johnson
21 days ago

This article has inspired me to set the bar higher in my daily routine. Recently retired, I am constantly tempted to justify my taking it too easy and then I miss opportunities for acts of kindness. I am grateful for the reminder to make the best use of the time that remains for me. Thanks to your grandparents for showing me the way.

P
P
21 days ago

Thank you.
From a Nana- Your grandparents are – even now- as you write about them- an inspiration to me.

Today I caught- the exercise part.
God bless them- and you and yours.

Michael F. Burke Sr.
Michael F. Burke Sr.
21 days ago

Great little read here! My wife and I are blessed with 5 children and 8 grandchildren. The grandchildren are ages 4 to 18 so there’s many things going on all the time with them. 5 boys and 3 girls. We see them as often as we can but it’s never enough. I send articles and text bits of advice to the older ones especially the oldest, she’s headed for college this August.
We love being grandparents and you’re right when you say we have more influence on them then we think we do. My oldest grandson asked me to be his sponsor for Confirmation which I thoroughly enjoyed, we prayed The Holy Rosary together the night before his Confirmation.
One of my younger grandson’s kindergarten teacher was very happy to finally meet me, she said my grandson talks about me often in class. My oldest granddaughter and I share poems with each other and our granddaughters seek advice from my wife about recipes and career choices. My wife is an amazing cook and a successful Director in analytical market research.
Stay close to your kids and especially your grandchildren. They look to us for clarity in a crazy fast moving world.

Melinda
Melinda
19 days ago

This article reinforces my belief that we need to feed our bodies and minds with healthy food. I’m 83, have 12 grandchildren and 24 great grants. I don’t see them often enough, they have busy lives, but I know they appreciate my input on life’s problems. Since I retired at 78 I have exercised every day, eat good food and do daily chores, especially gardening. I don’t know how long I’ll live, but I’m determined to be as healthy as possible.

Don
Don
19 days ago

Nice and spot on.

Mitzi Murphy
Mitzi Murphy
21 days ago

This article touched my heart

Lisa
Lisa
20 days ago

My grandchildren are my world!

Myrna
Myrna
19 days ago

Stay active. “Don’t quit” starts early and is the best way to live.

Another story
Another story
21 days ago

book, with his sleeves rolled up and his Castle Rock ballcap on. He was propped up next to my grandmother’s garden beds, where she knelt while pulling up stubborn weeds or tilling dark brown soil. They spent hours out there in the sunshine, laboring their minds and hands, until their grandchildren would finish their studies and come out to visit.
Every Sunday morning, my mother’s parents could be found with a cup of coffee and a worn Bible before them. They would read the verses out loud to each other, taking notes and meditating on the Word

all that’s missing is the slaves and this would just be the start of another racist white guys fantasy lol

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