Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Time to Cherish...

I happen to have the best grandparents in the world, just sayin'. They have always been there for my family, and they will be for as long as they possibly can. But there was a time when I didn't see it that way. There was a time when I just saw my grandpa as grumpy and controlling, and my grandma as too fussy. But I didn't really know who they were then. But now I do, and I will never stop being glad of that!

My wonderful grandparents, enjoying our beach holiday
in September last year...
As a young person, growing up in a world totally different from the one my grandparents' generation grew up in, it often seems hard to relate to them, or, worse, you can't be bothered to try. "What is the use?" I thought. "Why should I bother if they don't try and relate to me?" I can see now how proud and conceited I was and feel terrible about it all. I must have hurt my grandparents so much!! And I know I hurt my mother, who desperately wanted me to know them as the people they truly are. 
First of all, they do try to relate to me, and second, they are the adults, it is not their responsibility to change for a young girl who is still learning about life. That is most certainly my responsibility. I can see now that it is definitely more beneficial for me to try and relate to them anyway - they are adults and they have seen so much of life that I can learn an awful lot from them! 
Once I finally managed to overcome my pride, I started to realise that my grandpa isn't actually grumpy that often - only when I am rude to him, or when he is in pain from his osteo-parosis - and he isn't controlling, he just likes to see things done correctly, and at the time they should be done! My grandma isn't too fussy, she just likes to make sure that everything is running smoothly and to make things easier for my mum. And as I discovered this, I learnt that they have so much to share with me, about life, the world and about their own histories, if I am just willing to listen.

Now, I am more than willing to do so - indeed, listening to their stories is one of my favourite things to do!! My grandpa is 83 now, and my grandma is 80, so I probably won't have that much longer with them, so, as my mum has been telling me for years, I need to treasure and cherish every moment the Lord allows me to share with them. And treasure and cherish I do! They have years of life experience to share with us, if we are just willing to give up a moment of our own time.

Its not just one's grandparents that one needs to learn to respect and listen to, I have discovered. By taking the time to listen to the elderly in my church and community, I have learnt so much, and it truly blesses them too - it is a real win-win situation!! :D

I thought I would finish up with an amazing story my Grandma told me the other day!! Hope you find it as interesting as I did!! :)

" When I was eleven, World War II was raging all over the world. I lived on a farm in a German area of South Africa, miles away from any fighting, but not far away enough to see the effects of it. 
In 1940, Italy joined the war, on the side of Germany." 
"Their leader, Mussolini, was an absolute war loving fool," puts in my Grandpa. 
"Yes, he was," continues my Grandma. "He loved Hitler, and fighting. However, the Italian people were not war-like - did not wish to fight - and the German soldiers looked down on their Italian comrades. Anyway, once they had been fighting for a while, a lot of Italian prisoners were taken. South Africa, which was a British ally, was where they were sent. Some prisoners lived in a prison camp in my home town of Pietermartizberg, and they could be hired out to work on people's farms. Our neighbors hired two of the Italian POWs (Prisoners of War) to work on their farm. And sometimes, they would come to our farm to play cards with us kids. At first we thought they would be strange, evil foreigners, but they weren't at all. They were just ordinary men, wishing, like us, that the war would end so that they could go home. One of the men was a bit rough, just an ordinary farmer forced into fighting, but the other was a true gentleman. He had been an opera singer in Rome before the war. It just goes to show that people from different cultures aren't actually that different from us! They are just people like you and me. Before the Italian POWs went home after the war, they built a chapel at their prison camp. It is still there today." 
The Italian chapel, built by the Italian POWs in
Pietermaritzberg 


That's right - I have its picture right here!
Phewf, well this post is most definitely long enough so I'll leave it at that!!  Hope you enjoy it!! :)
God bless, 
♥ Daisy ♥

3 comments:

Violet said...

Wow, this was so interesting, Daisy! And so true, too! I know I am terribly guilty of not valuing my grandparents enough, so thank you so much for the reminder! God bless you and your amazing grandparents!
Your friend,
Violet

Indy said...

Very interesting.

My grandparents are still alive. They have already been eighty. They were both victims of the Germans and have suffered much hunger in the second world war. Many family members were arrested during raids and came back after a year as a broken people.

It's good to know family our stories. Yes?

Daisy said...

Violet, I'm glad you appreciated it! I think we all are a bit guilty of that sometimes :p
God bless you too!

Indy, wow, that must have been so tough for your poor grandparents!! My grandparents were very blessed to be too young to fight, and far away from it all!! It was such a terrible time :(

But yes, it truly is great to know our family's history!! :D
Daisy ♥