The state of Queensland cops a bit of an unfair wrap when it comes to supposedly being ‘very laid back’, or even indeed the word ‘backward’ may be thrown out there by it’s harsher critics.

I have to say I find this all a bit trivial because I say good on them for taking life slow. Sucking it all in, and enjoying what a state with so much to offer.

Why want to race around like a Sydneysider, stressing yourself out when maybe you’re living the dream already? A dream millions of non Australians would die for? And do for a lot less.

Same could be said for us, although that’s not my point. My point is that I truly admired the Queensland governments ‘forward’ initiative to officially celebrate Grandparents Day annually.

The idea, although might not be totally originally be theirs – having been
introduced in 1978 in the United States by then President Jimmy Carter – is one that I thoroughly applaud.

Although not speaking for every individual Australia, who there are many who obviously ‘get it’ but I think society all too often only looks at the ‘perceived’ negative aspects of old age in society.

We run around worshipping the young, and even treat them as gifted purely because they understand technology so much better than many of us.

But why is it that we think that technology is the only thing to aspire to?

Why do we think that technology is going to create such a wonderful future?

I remember when I lost my only grandmother, Harriet several years back. Not only was she one of the true hero’s and great loves of my life, but once she was gone, I realised she had left a much bigger, gaping hole in my life than I’d ever realised would be the case.

I suddenly thought to myself, “Oh my goodness, I have no (excuse the expression) old people in my life! I am cut off in a sense to lessons and stories from the past.” Lessons and stories that will surely enrich our future lives.

This truly rattled me and to this day I still wonder what I should do about this dilemma, because I do not want to only rely on the thoughts and wisdom, of people my own age. Or even just my parents.

I want to keep learning about what life was like long before I arrived here. I think it’s essential to make well-rounded views of how life could and should be.

I was reading the words from then President Jimmy Carter, and it resonated in me, and wonder if as many people as I feel should, really get what the oldest generation of society are about?

It read, our nation was shaped by the wisdom and courage of our founding fathers, and by the steadfastness of succeeding generations who have sustained their vision through two turbulent centuries of challenge and growth.

Each American family is similarly shaped and guided by its forbears. Just as a nation learns and is strengthened by its history, so a family learns and is strengthened by its understanding of preceding generations.

Oh how true, I thought! And I acknowledge that as we’re children, we have a much greater connection and respect for the elderly. Even if it’s just by way of our grandparents. But once they’re gone, or we grow up, what then?

And then, I received a very sad message two weeks ago from a close friend. It read, “I just wanted to let you know that Pop passed away last night. Just thought you should know because he saw something ‘special’ in you.”

I wonder, quite honestly that maybe what her dear Pop saw in me, was simply respect, love and a genuine interest in his life.

Not simply that he was old and cute, which seems a little ‘blasé’ for someone who’s seen so much I have not. Cute does not equal wisdom and knowledge. Years on this planet, however do.



  1. I couldn’t agree more with what you are saying – I adore my grandparents and I turn to them for advice more than my friends at times.
    We have recently had a health scare with my nan and it makes you value them all the more realising that they will not be here forever.

    I work in aged care and I think we should celebrate all older people – not just grandparents. When you take the time to get to know them and try to understand all they have seen and lived through it is really just amazing what you can learn.
    My own grandparents live interstate so our relationship is mostly conducted via phone calls, but these beautiful people at my work who are always happy to listen and give advice about my kids are amazing and lets face it most of them have been through it and in much harder circumstances than we will ever see.

    I love seeing my kids learning that everyone is worth listening to – my daughters amazement after finding out that the lady she was talking to was 102 was priceless! And then seeing the follow on when she draws a picture and asks me to take it in, well that just makes me smile on the inside because she is learning to care for others.

    Learning to tell the time, tie shoelaces and plant herbs are all things that my kids have learnt from an older person in the last few months these experiences are things that parents don’t generally have time for – grandparents on the other had – always good for a chat and a bit of good advice 🙂

    I wish I had half the strength and determination!

    • What a beautiful mum you are Hayley for making sure your kids are aware and around older people. And isn’t it just adorable, and actually very spiritual that little one’s love making things for the elderly? And the joy that gives the person that receives it? So lovely… that really is what life is all about. Those moments, and those times when a simple heart felt gesture makes another feel so warm. I just worry that too many people forget how that all feels. Technology and the media, and modern games will never ever provide the things that our souls really need to feel good. it’s interesting times. I just hope enough of us aware of where these times make take us. Being a sheep in these times, is dangerous. Glad to hear there are still some of us that aren’t sucked into ‘fast, and new’ is necessarily all good. Because it is not.x

  2. I totally agree with you Amber.

    My Nana’s love was pure and unconditional. She just loved. Her life was so basic and her joy was at its greatest level when she was surrounded by her family.

    I remember with such fondness the mornings I would wake at her house and eat cornflakes, (which for some reason always tasted better at her house) and the aroma of cakes baking. There were endless cuddles and words of encouragement. She always had the time to talk and listen, (even at 1.30 when Day of our Lives would come on).

    When she died a big part of me died with her. She was the glue that held the family together and inevitably, we all eventually fell apart when she passed.

    The beautiful thing is that I see her every day in the eyes of my daughters who sadly never got to meet her. I feel her with me always and I pray to her in my darkest hours.

    I celebrate my Grandmothers life every day and her memory lives on through me and through my kids.

    The book Tuesdays with Morrie is a wonderful example of the wisdom one can learn from this generation.

    • Oh Mel, firstly thank you so much for sharing your feelings about your grandmother, in such a way that it reminded me of how I felt about my nana. It was such an intense beautiful feeling of such small things. Like the clock that ticked in her house. I’d stay at her house and when I woke up in the middle of the night and heard that clock I immediately knew I was in my favourite place. Her date loaf was like my favourite thing in the whole world. And I would always, always tell her I wanted her to make it again. The cover on the single bed in the spare room where I stayed was like…well I still remember exactly how it felt, how much I loved it such much I almost wanted to bite it….ha ha….It’s funny how everything about that grandparent is just the most wonderful thing you’ll every experience. I only had one grandparent, but my goodness did I never feel that I missed out because she was literally everything. I know she was human, and I know that she wasn’t the perfect person to my mum, but we had our relationship, and it was eternally amazing. When I lost her, I too lost a huge chunk of myself. i still cry now when I think of her. It’s weird because, I can still remember how her skin felt when i’d squeeze her. I still remember the way she smelt, and that smile she’d have when I’d do anything. It never needed to be much but she’d always look at me like I was the most talented amazing person she’d ever seen. And she meant it. We’d dance to this funny Scottish music, and when I was little I’d stand on her feet and she’d dance, so I felt like I knew how to dance. And we’d both laugh so much I’d fall off her feet. I remember when I was living in Sydney, and I had this feeling that life might be coming to an end for her. And this voice said to me “if you stay here liviing this superficial life, and she dies, you’ll never ever forgive yourself.” So thankfully, I got up and left. And I went back to Melbourne with no job. I just wanted to spend every day with her at her home. The home, whatever you call it. It wasn’t her home but it was a nice version of a home, as she was a war widow. By that stage she had one step on the other side. She would tell me in this gazed state all about her husband, my grandpa that I never met. And she’d talk about her family, the 8 sisters she had in Scotland. SOme of which I never met. And I could see how much she missed them. She missed them, and her husband so much that we, the grandkids and her daughters just weren’t enough anymore. She longed to be with them. And that made me so sad. Not for us, but for her. I realised during those days, and many that she would fall asleep and forget i was there, that she needed to go. She needed to go back to them. We’d had our time, and now she needed to go to heaven to see them again. She ended up in hospital about 3 months after I moved back. Her bowel burst inside her. It was horrendous. I would sit at the hospital and hope she passed away peacefully because I knew it was her time to go. The doctors would come into the waiting room and tell us she’d survived another operation, and my family were so happy and I just sat and cried. I realised at that time that I had a different way of thinking. I realised that there was no other chapter left that she wanted. There was no point in hoping that she’d survive, just so I could say my grandma is still alive. Because she wanted to go. And I needed to honour her with that. Of course she did go eventually. I’m so thankful I had her for the amount of time I did. She was the best grandmother in every way. And yes, when she went, I felt extra sad that I no longer had the wisdom, and energy that the elderly people have in my life. Just because people get old, and slow in speech, does not mean just being around their energy isn’t one of the most important things that we must have in our lives. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your story, because it allowed me to write this. And I feel better for doing so.xxxx

  3. Thank you also for your post.

    Nana’s will never be the same.

    My Nan’s greatest beauty splurge was having my Mum put her hair in rollers once a week. She dressed in a “housecoat” at home which was made for her by her “Trudi” her neighbor. She and Poppa ate their dinner on trays whilst sitting on their Jason recliner watching Sale of the Century. And of course, when socialising the odd “shandy” was consumed, (beer and lemonade)

    As much as my Mum adores my kids, a Nana with botox, boufonte blonde hair, manicured nails and the odd face lift just isn’t the same is it. In fact, its all so wrong…..

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