It’s 9 p.m. on a Sunday night and I just realized I forgot to call my grandmother. I talked to her earlier in the week, and promised I would call over the weekend. Yet here I am, wondering why I can’t remember to call one of my favorite people in the world. I’m a firm believer that calling your grandmother is the best way to brighten your day, because talking to my gramma always makes me smile. Grandmothers offer great perspective on everything, from what to do with your life to your current romantic interest. So, if you haven’t chatted with your grandmother in a while, pick up your phone. And if your grandparents have already past, considering connecting with another senior citizen in your life.
Grandmothers always want to know about your life, but its important to remember her history is your history and you should consider asking her some out of the box questions the next time you talk. After all, our elders can sometimes be the greatest sources of information or inspiration.
- Learn more about her first date with your grandfather. Was she immediately smitten or did he not immediately sweep her off her feet?
- If she had a career- what it was like to be a woman in the workforce when that wasn’t a strong cultural norm in her time. Or, if she focused on raising a family, ask what her job would have been had she decided that route. If she could go back, would she have chosen the same path?
- Ask about what it was like to live through any of the major historical events: Vietnam War, Cold War, assassination of Kennedy… the list goes on and on. History books can only tell you so much, another perspective can only aid in your education and appreciation for history.
- Ask what she wishes she knew when she was the age you are now. Whether it be to wear less makeup or travel more, her opinion should certainly count.
- Get more information on what your parent was like growing up. What was the biggest thing they ever got in trouble for? What were their family traditions while growing up? Was their childhood bedroom messy or clean?
- Ask her to tell you her tips for throwing a dinner party, what cookies are her favorite to bake, and what her preferred cookbook is. Then, take the skills she (hopefully!) passed down to you to the kitchen.
- Find out what her philosophy on life is. You know what they say: the older the wiser. Her perspective on life will be garnished with many different experiences, and you should reflect that wisdom in your daily living.
- What is she most proud of? Give her time to brag about herself, because you know she has spent a lot of time bragging about you.
- Ask her how she chose your parent’s (and aunts/uncles) names. If there’s a family name that’s been passed down, ask if she truthfully likes it.
- Find out a tradition she never wants the family to outgrow. Sunday dinners, beach trips, or calling each other on birthdays- find out what she values the most in you family’s dynamic.
Go call your grandmother or another significant elder in your life. You know how much she loves to hear from you, and you definitely realize how crucial it is to learn from her.
Photo by Molly Longest