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Preserving Grandwisdom

Posted By Jolyn Rudelson On 07.20.2011 @ 8:55 PM In General | Comments Disabled

As I said in my book It’s Not About You: A Grandparent’s Guide to Surviving Divorce in the family:

Families in the beginning of the 20th century were more interested in assimilating into the culture of the young country they had become part of than in remembering the one they had left behind. But by the beginning of the 21st century, the focus had changed. People have now become interested in capturing their past before it is too late.

The more I have been blogging about marriage, divorce, grandparents and families, the more my attention has been focusing on how fast things are changing in the 21st century.  So fast it may be distracting us from remembering what has gone before.

Now more people are unmarried than are. Who could possibly have predicted that?  More children have at least one living grandparent but more of their grandparents are still employed and will be working longer than in the past.

Families are continually in flux. While the Nuclear Family decreases, the number of Blended Families is on the rise. A new trend gaining in popularity is the ABV (All But Vows) Family.  This may be as a result of the lack of permanence in this fast moving and ever changing technical age.   Some are choosing this way as an alternate to bigamy forming a family and somehow keeping their separated family too.

Same sex couples are increasing as more states than ever are making the possibility of creating a legal foundation for their families a reality. I find it so interesting that as the preference for marriage between heterosexual couples decreases, same sex couples choose a legal relationship as the one to be obtained.

It seems that those who already have the right for a legal relationship take it for granted, while those who have never had the right for a legalized commitment appreciate much more what the right to marry means and will do anything to fight for it.

The world is up side down.   Children who are deprived of their rights of two legally joined parents understand what that deprivation means.   I so often wonder what the children of ABV Families think.  Do these ABV children ever wonder why their parents didn’t consider them important enough to make the “Till death do we part” commitment?  Are they envious of the more socially acceptable “legally married?”  One thing is certain; children do not like to feel different from their peers.

The “June Cleaver” stable family of the past is considered a joke by some, not something to be retained.   But if it is a joke, why are those who lived through it so nostalgic for the way things were?  Maybe instead of considering things of the past as something to be disregarded: it is time to look back to recover the lessons learned.

Many of us remember what it feels like to have two married parents; when divorce wasn’t almost the norm.  When we came home from school it was pretty nice to have a mom waiting to greet us.  And when dad returned from work in the evening ,his family always listened to hear that familiar phrase “Honey I’m home.”  as the door shut behind him.  Best of all it was great to sit down to a family dinner with the family around the dinner table not distracted by “Tweeting” and “Texting” family members.  In this day of technical advances such a family life may resemble a joke to some, but to others it seems to be a fading dream.
The time is becoming short to prevent past family memories from being lost. Maybe it is time to preserve some of those memories, the good, the bad and the inconvenient.  What especially should be preserved is the “Grandwisdom” that has been handed down from the past, grandparent to grandchildren, parent to child.  It is so casually passed down from generation to generation.  Sayings that are ingrained in each family’s history without being identified as to who or why they were said.

Now that I am a grandmother I realize how important those things are.  Too late for me to record some of that wisdom, but not too late for me to identify others.  So that  has become my goal, to capture on paper some of my family’s history that I can pass on down to my grandchildren.  Not just words but recipes that capture the smells of holidays past, of songs sung, and prayers repeated. My hope is for  my grandchildren to pass them along.

I hope you will join me and do the same!


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