My grandfather, the late Robert McNiff, ranks high on the list of people whom I am most grateful to have had in my life. Anyone who met my grandfather responded positively to the special twinkle in his eye, his Irish gift for gab, and his overall easy-going nature. Pop-pop was a round man who walked with a cane, made eggs to order for anyone who wanted them, and made a Sunday roast as easily as someone would crack open a can of soup. He was also an amazing gardener who took pride in growing his tomatoes and flowers from seeds in an indoor terrarium before planting them outside along the wall of his garden apartment in Newton, NJ. I think of my Pops every time I water my plants at home, and this weekend he was especially on my mind as I repotted two orchids that I am hopeful may actually bloom a second time – an exciting “first” for me if it actually happens.
I was reminded this week of the special relationship I had with my Grandfather when our Sixth Grader students showed a video they created about seniors they are thankful for having in their lives. I was so touched by their stories, and was struck by the many lessons seniors have to teach our young people. Whether grandparents, caregivers or friends from the neighborhood, the presence of seniors in our children’s lives is truly valuable and plays an important role in their development. Watch their amazing video here: https://vimeo.com/144408883
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I invite you to take some time to reflect on the seniors that have enriched your life. Perhaps your children would enjoy hearing stories about some of the relatives in their family who have passed on, and the ways in which your life has been enriched as a result of knowing them.