Grandparents | #MyFridayStory №291

Frans Nel
3 min readMay 19, 2023
Pixabay | Pexels

Most people have fond memories of their Nana and Papa, Giagiá and Pappoús, Vó and Vovô, or Oupa and Ouma.

Grandparents often form strong bonds with their grandkids that grow stronger throughout their lives. In a study using only grandmas, scientists discovered the grandmas feel more connected with their grandchildren than they do with their own kids. The reason a grandparent can have such a close bond with their grandchild is varied. An important consideration is the financial burden the parents are under, and grandparent are no longer affected by such distractions.

There’s a part in John Powers talk entitled, “Even Sparrows Soar” he talks about growing up in his house. His memories are special because his grandfather lived with them. His grandfather was a bus driver for the city of Chicago. But John viewed him as a wise councillor. And so did many of the passengers on his grandad’s bus. Commuters on his route would skip other busses to catch a ride on his.

People said, “It was like a moving party!”

Powers, who authored also books such as, “Do Patent Leather Shoes Reflect Up?”, often travelled throughout the United States. While delivering talks and appearing on talk shows, people would come up to him who travelled on his bus. They would light up and say,

“He was the highlight of my day!”

What an awesome way to be remembered?

My Dad’s father died when my Dad was still only a boy. My Grandmother on my Dad’s side was a stern, no-nonsense, no-fun, Ouma. Ouma Nel would visit for three-month stints. It felt like a year. She would move in, and my sisters would have move out of their room and into the lounge. I remember once she had only been with us for about a week, when my youngest sister asked her matter-of-factly, “Ouma, when are you going back home?”

On my Mother’s side, I grew up knowing my Ouma and Oupa well. They had seven children, three girls and four boys and lived on a farm the Northern Cape. After they had all grown up and left the house, my Mom’s youngest Brother stayed on the farm. My Uncle and my Aunt raised their four boys on the farm, with my Ouma and Oupa. The privilege those boys had being at the feet of such great people must have been humbling.

My Ouma and Oupa were raised in harsh conditions when life was a lot tougher than it is today. Yet, without much material possessions and making a meagre living off their small piece of land, they had a richness of character not found today. This hardness of the life they experienced somehow softened their hearts to the point of being saintly.

My Mom spoke of Growing up, my Mom would often go into my grandparent’s room at night while they were doing Bible study. My Oupa would be lying in the bed holding his Bible while a candle burned in a candle holder on his chest. That image has stayed with me for all these years. It’s the image I have of grandparents that were humble and loving children of God.

The love they went on to share with each of us grandkids, I will never forget.

Have an awesome weekend and please remember to be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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