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HOW MY GRANDMA LOIS HAS ENRICHED MY LIFE Not many people know this, but the first Sunday after Labor Day (September 10 this year) is National Grandparents’ Day . It doesn’t get the same attention
as Mother’s and Father’s Day, but I say it should. There’s really no love in the world like the love that comes from Grandma and Grandpa. This year, my thoughts turn specifically to my Grandma Lois, my mother’s mother. Grandma is still alive and active at the tender age of 91. She’s had two knee replacements and two hip replacements, but she remains mobile. That’s due in part to her iron will and also some great physical therapy. (Yes, I am her physical therapist.) People ask me, “Should you really be your grandma’s PT? Don’t you go easy on her?” I tell them, “She doesn’t seem to think so.” No. If I went easy on her, it would mean I don’t care about her healthy recovery. But I do care. Growing up in Harvard, Grandma lived close by and was very involved in our lives. She took us to the movies, hosted sleepovers, and spent all kinds of time with us. She was kind of a second mother that way, and we knew we were in for a good time with her. That isn’t to say she was just as strict. Grandma was definitely firm about the important things, with the same loving attitude I have with her physical therapy now. But I won’t lie and say we couldn’t get away with a little more when it came to Grandma. Overall, Grandma is simply one of the most caring individuals I’ve ever known. How lucky, then, that I got to be her grandson and benefit from her care every day. We felt her loving influence by how consistently she was there for us. Whether for a recital, Little League game, or just a Sunday afternoon dinner, we knew she would be there for us with a hug and a smile.
We’re grateful for her love and appreciative of her extreme wit. She’s always been sharp as a tack, and that’s reflected in her humor. She isn’t afraid to tease us, albeit lovingly, or to say a quick zinger that has the whole dinner table in stitches. When she isn’t busy with her grandchildren, Grandma turns arts and craftsmanship into more than a hobby. She can draw anything, paint beautiful landscapes, and she’s a talented knitter. I say it’s more than a hobby sometimes because stores have actually bought her work. Even now, I’m in awe of some of the artwork she’s created with a sketch pad or a paintbrush. I love her so much, and I’m a better husband and father because of her caring nature and example. The same is true for my other grandparents as well, and I believe most of our lives are richer and sweeter because our grandparents made it so. Happy Grandparents’ Day to mine, and I hope we can all reach out to one or all our parents’ parents and let them know how much we love them. – Mike Ulmer
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