It’s not a very well publicized holiday, but for the last 30 years it has been one in the United States, celebrated in September on the first Sunday after Labor Day. When it was first celebrated, there were 17 million grandparents in the country, now there are more than 70 million.
Creating a day to pay tribute to grandparents was the idea of Marian McQuade, who worked with senior citizens for many years. She wanted to honor lonely grandparents in nursing homes and focus attention on their needs. She hoped that by acknowledging these seniors, it would encourage their grandchildren to look at their heritage and seek wisdom from their grandparents.
McQuade, who died last year at the age of 91, worked for eight years to accomplish her goal. Her campaign to initiate Grandparents Day is still relevant today when other private citizens are seeking a way to make their voices heard. She started locally, in her Virginia community, then was able to get the support of her Senator and three years later her Governor made it a day of celebration in the state. In the meantime, drawing on publicity from the media, she worked to encourage a resolution in Congress to commemorate grandparents. Her efforts succeeded and we now have the opportunity, on a national level, to acknowledge the important role grandparents play in family life.
If you too have a goal that drives you, don’t give up when you face obstacles and setbacks. It may be frustrating for you as a Sandwiched Boomer when your efforts don’t succeed at first, but if you believe in the worth of your pursuit, hang in there and give it your best. The process may be long and complex yet you will find that you gain much from your journey.
And for some fresh ideas about how to forge and nourish a strong relationship with your own grandchildren, even when they live far away, click on the post title. You will be able to read our article, Create Meaningful Bonds with Your Grandchildren Across the Miles, on our website, www.HerMentorCenter.com.