I asked my son to talk about his grandparents.
Paternal Grandad - I don't know much about my Grandad as he died before I was born. I know he had heart problems. He was a miner and lived in the same town all his life.
Paternal Grandma - Again, she died before I was born and I know very little about her as Dad does not talk about her much at all.
Maternal Grandad - He is always kind. He always shares out his things like his biscuits, crisps and his love. He always wakes up early in the morning. When I used to go to his house for the weekend, I would help him lay the real fire. He worked in the Navy as a parachute repairer. He was a policeman too and I thought he was in the fire brigade too but Mum says I got that bit wrong. Grandad likes to read newspapers, books and to do crosswords and puzzles. I don't think Grandad is keen on chocolate but I think he likes creamy things. He likes drinking something called HobGoblin. Grandad never seems to tell me off.
Maternal Grandma - She usually had a lot of spare time for me. She died when I was 8 years old. Grandma used to take me out to the coast and the countryside. She owned a caravan so we used to stay there sometimes. Grandma had time to play with me more than my parents. I loved her lots. She used to make me laugh a lot and give me kisses and cuddles. She was a good cook and made great pancakes but I did not like her Yorkshire puddings. I can't remember her ever telling me off. I still miss her a lot.
My reflections on this are as follows.
I think my husband or his family need to share stories of my children's paternal grandparents with them. This is important so that they understand all aspects of their heritage.
What my son does not remember is how his grandparents did a lot of his day-to-day babycare so that I could go back to work when he was 6 weeks old. They did this even though they were in their seventies and moved from their hometown so they could do so uprooting themselves from family and friends. They used to take him to so many places and introduced him to different foods. My son's first word was "Rover" because Grandad drove a Rover car.
He does not remember that it was Grandad who patiently taught him how to clap when we all lost patience. I always know that throughout life everytime I see my son clap, my Dad will be with me.
He does not remember that his first night away from me was spent with his grandparents whilst I was giving birth to his little sister. Nor how he climbed into bed with them in the early hours of the morning to sing nursery rhymes.
As he got older, he would go for weekends with them which was important as when the other two children arrived, I think he missed having that sole attention from myself and my husband.
When my mum became terminally ill, she decided after 8 weeks that she did not want to see my children anymore. She said she wanted them to remember the fun times they had together and not to remember her as a frail and ill lady. I found this very tough to take as did my Dad, my husband and my children. However, I had promised that her journey towards her death should be done her way so I had to stick to that. Just before she died, she did think about seeing them again but it never happened.
My son was born 50 years after Mum and Dad got married and he was their first grandchild. He was the glue that put us back together again as we were not speaking when I became pregnant with him.
Mum said on the first day that she held my son, that she could now die happy. They had 8 lovely years together before that happened. I hope we have many more years left with my Dad who teaches my children so much about life.
So, my children just have one grandparent left and here he is with mum on their wedding day.