Usually, when a grandpa has a birthday, the inevitable question arises of what to buy him. What can one purchase for a wise, old man that already has everything? Even though ties, socks, and straw-brimmed hats may abound plentiful in grandpa’s closet, surely there must be something we can buy him that will put a great, big smile on his face?
Surprisingly, there is, and it is something that does not cost very much and will be more priceless to him than any watch, gold chain or silly, coffee cup could ever be.
It is called love, appreciation, and expressing to grandpa how much you cherish him for everything he has done in your life. Gifts are for giving, but hugs and kisses to him and a simple, “Thank you, Grandpa!” are the sincerest ways you can show him how much you love him.
Sometimes we forget that our grandpas are around. We acknowledge them only on holidays and birthdays. We take them out to dinner once a year, buy them a card, a small gift and offer them words of sympathy.
We like to convince them that we know what it is like for them to grow old. We give them words of comfort and treat them like old trinkets that merely need to be dusted off and polished from time to time, and to grub money from.
Yes, we always like to hit Grandpa up for a few bucks now and then, and that is only because we know that he will probably give it to us without complaining. It is also fun to hear our Grandma say, “Oh my, look at all of the moths flying out of his wallet!”
Grandpas are like the moviegoers in the theaters of our lives. They sit in the back rows and watch the plots unfold as we grow up. While everyone else is offering their opinions and complaints, grandpas keep their mouths shut, butter the popcorn and think of whimsical ways of how the movie will possibly end.
Sometimes they laugh, sometimes they cry, and sometimes they only soak it all in with bespeckled, amusement. No one ever thinks of asking grandpa what he thinks, because they assume that he is too old and his opinion will be out of touch with reality.
As I wrote this article, I began to think about my own grandfather. I remember how he would come into our house and plop himself down onto the sofa. He would not say much, and not much was said to him. Every now and then he would offer a smile, a nod, or a small gesture to remind us all that he was still alive in the room.
I remember how my Grandpa would always look at me with a sly smile on his face while the family was debating a serious issue. It was a comical expression that seemed always to ask the question, “Are these people serious?”
So the next time your grandpa’s, or your kid’s grandpa’s birthday rolls around, do something very special for him. Instead of going out and giving him the proverbial tie or sweater, give him something special that he can take to bed with him each night and remember as he falls asleep.
Give him a note, a card or even a whisper in his ear that says, “Thank you, Grandpa, for always being there,” or “Thank you, Grandpa, for understanding me when no one else would.”
It will be the most priceless, gift and one that he will cherish forever.
Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer, book author and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.