By Jamie Stern
Photo: Jamie as a toddler with her Mother, Oma, Opa and Tante – 1989.
Congratulations to all the new grandparents this year and to all the grandparents who received more grandbabies! The Indo Project’s very own newsletter editor, Ingrid McCleary, is celebrating her new grandson, Baby Ben. (Congratulations Ingrid!)
This Sunday happens to be National Grandparents Day (September 7th 2014). Hopefully everyone is doing something to celebrate Oma and/or Opa!
According to The Legacy Project, National Grandparents Day was initiated at the grassroots level in 1973 by West Virginian, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, a coal miner’s wife. She and her husband had 15 children, 43 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Mrs. McQuade envisioned Grandparents Day as a family day; one to honor grandparents, give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer. Generations United in Washington, DC encourages all ages to engage in intergenerational civic engagement for the entire week following National Grandparents Day.
Here at The Indo Project, we embrace and cherish our older generations who play vital roles in our connection to our heritage and past. Through the stories of grandparents, the younger generations have a portal to history, information on our Indo heritage, and access to life lessons and valuable experiences. If you’re lucky, you also learn quickly that grandparents never run out of hugs, kisses and snacks! (Well, that is to say, my Oma never did. She always had something delicious for us kids to munch on.)
In response to the on-going 2013-2014 Indo Survey, many Omas and Opas expressed that their greatest pride included being grandparents. When asked what they were proud of, these were some of their answers:
Josephine Romswinckel wrote: “I raised 8 kids, attended 2 years of college at middle age; I’m good in crafts, sewing and other needleworks and did some teaching in that field. I bought a new car at the age of 81 and drove from California to Iowa in my new car with my granddaughter.” In speaking with Josephine in a phone interview, she explained how proud she is of all her grandkids and elaborated on all the different sporting events and dance recitals that she attends. She is always there to cheer for them. She is very proud of their accomplishments in their extracurricular activities. Josephine sounds like one fabulous Oma!
Anonymous 1 wrote: “We adopted two children who enriched our lives. I successfully served my government in many countries. I am very proud to be a grandfather.”
Anonymous 2 wrote: “I’m the mother of one daughter who is a researcher of transmigration in South East Asia and the grandmother of 2 adopted grandchildren from Cambodia.”
Anonymous 3 wrote: “I’m proud to be a grandmom.”
Anonymous 4 wrote: “I’m the proud parent of 3 well accomplished children and 9 grandchildren.”
Anonymous 5 wrote: “The absolute joy of being a parent is seeing a little Indo in both my children. Wishing my Indo parents were living to see their lovely grandkids.”
Grandparents are so special. I miss mine every day. I also celebrate them every day by thinking of them, engaging in fun activities with dear Indo friends, and cooking up some of my Oma’s recipes. The love never stops and the beauty is that they will always be a part of you.
Omas and Opas, please go hug your adorable grandbabies. Grandkids, please go tell your Oma and/or Opa how special they are. Moms and Dads, please take a bunch of photos of all this happiness and send some of them to TIP so that we can post them!
Happy Grandparents day, everyone!