Did you know September 10th is National Grandparents Day? Every year on the Sunday after Labor Day, we commemorate the special relationships between grandparents and grandchildren. Thereare so many national days to keep track of (September 10th alone happens to also be National Swap Idea Day, National TV Dinner Day, and National Hug Your Hound Day), but Grandparents Day deserves attention as special as the seniors in our lives. After all, there are only so many people in this world who brag about us to the mailman.
The founder of National Grandparents Day, Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia, made it her goal to educate the youth in her community about the important contributions made by seniors and to encourage the youth to “adopt” a grandparent, not just for one day, but for a lifetime. I’m hoping today as you celebrate and honor the grandparents in your own family, you will take time to consider the group of senior residents at the Grandparents House in Ft. Liberté, a home for elders who have no family to tend to them.
As Christians, we are called to actively care for those who cannot care for themselves—the weak, sick, widowed, orphaned, and outcast—and that means loving even those who are harder to love. It’s easy to love your own grandparents, but maybe it’s a little bit harder to love those we don’t share that bond with. I get it, and I didn’t feel it for myself until a visit to deliver food to the Grandparents House when an elderly, frail Haitian man kissed my face and called me his grandbaby. That was enough to make him my Papaw.
For our Haitian grandparents, we can’t make up for lost time. We’ll never be able to sit and reminisce about holidays spent together, and they can’t serve as the repository for embarrassing childhood moments or family secrets. But they are still ours, and there is still time to bond with them. Spend some time to learn about them, provide for them, and—if you ever get the opportunity—sit on their porch and visit with them. They will offer you a chair and a hand to hold.
In celebration of Grandparents Day, you can honor your own grandparents by making a one-time or recurring donation to the Grandparents’ House (Granparan Kay) in Ft. Liberté. Your donation will help Friends of Ft. Liberté continue to provide our Haitian grandparents with shelter, food, a cook to prepare meals, and a monthly stipend that allows them to maintain the feeling of independence; a donation of $70 provides for one month’s care for one resident.
You can go HERE to donate to the Grandparents House!
Meet A Few of Our Grandparents:
Louis Val Jean
Mme Lous Val Jean