My Rashionale — What if we found a way to duplicate the grandparent effect?


June 17, 2020


A few weeks ago, I found a stack of letters my Granny McCaig had written me during the time I served the Caribbean as a short-term missionary with the International Mission Board.

Such a sweet treasure to uncover — I’m so thankful I tucked them away for safe keeping all those years ago.

Granny always updated me on Papa’s latest “piddling” project, as she liked to say, and what yummy fresh vegetables she was cooking out of the garden.

If a cousin or neighbor had something exciting happening, then she would fill me in on the latest news.

She had an amazing way of chatting in her letter as if we were sitting in her living room carrying on a conversation.

And she always told me how proud she was of me and she was praying for me.

What a blessing to have had a grandmother — and grandfather — who invested in me, and all of us grandchildren, like she did.

I remember writing to her also, but I’m not sure I was as consistent and dependable as Granny with the letters.

Still, she kept writing and never let up, which meant a lot.

Grandma Davis also wrote me from time to time, but our best conversations were when I visited her.

She always wanted to know everything that was going on with me and never seemed to tire of my endless stream of stories to tell.

Grandparents possess a unique way of making you feel like you are the most important person in the world.

I now watch my mom and dad and so many other friends and family members who are grandparents and smile as the tradition continues.

The ability to love and care in that secret grandparent way has not become a lost art. It prevails, and reminds me of the nurturing love we all need.

What if we found a way to duplicate the grandparent effect within all communities?

All current grandparents already investing in the lives of their grandchildren are off the hook for our experiment.

But if you are an adult without grandchildren, or if your grandchildren are old enough to participate in this experiment as well, then think about a young person or child who could benefit from an extra grandparent.

What are some simple ways you could encourage him or her? Our current social distancing restrictions means some limitations, but I’m confident we can all think of something.

It might be as simple as what my grandmothers did — show an interest, write letters, make phone calls, maybe even send emails or texts. Reach out to have conversations and spend most of the time listening to what they want to share without judgment or the temptation to tell them what they should be doing instead. Opportunities to teach and guide will happen.

Some of the most cherished memories come out of simple conversations.

  • David Garrard Magic