We have never had older people more present than in the last 16 months that we have had a pandemic. So this Grandparents Day sounds like something very special. They have been the most affected age group, the first to suffer isolation, loneliness and the terrible effects of the coronavirus that, unfortunately, have killed many of them.
Ignorance in the first moments of the pandemic made them the most vulnerable group and, despite being the first to be vaccinated, the price of the disease, the confinement and the risk of contagion is being too high for them.
Until the pandemic came into our lives, this day was to remember and appreciate the quiet work of grandparents as second parents, as economic lifeguards in times of trouble, as a resource always at hand for any emergency … a sacrifice never paid but always they have gladly done when they have been needed.
But for grandparents the virus has also changed their lives. With the grandchildren confined to home for some months of the past year, with the recommendation not to celebrate Christmas with them and with the health precautions that have made hugs and kisses disappear, if there is someone who has suffered the collateral damage of the pandemic , beyond the terrible effects of the disease, they have been.
Their quality of life has been limited and diminished by the lack of contact with their grandchildren, the architects of much of their activity, their illusions and their efforts. They have not been able to walk, they have not been able to travel, they have not received visitors either at home or in the residences … so technology has been their refuge and their means of escape to be in contact with their children and grandchildren. For many, this time of pandemic has been the motivation to get closer and discover technology as a treasure to feel closeness and affection. For others, however, the loneliness is being even worse than the illness itself.
I hope that little by little normality returns to our lives so that grandparents and grandchildren can once again share quality time and education in the park, smiles without a mask and kisses and hugs without hydroalcoholic gels in between. Because if there is something that the new generations of grandparents demand, it is to feel useful and active: they are increasingly younger, more independent, more travelers, with initiative, more familiar with technology and who are aware that, although with ailments, they can do a lot for the children and even more for the grandchildren, even sharing hobbies.
These months of uncertainty and for many families of pain and suffering have transformed this celebration of Grandparents’ Day into a memory and a very special tribute. Our routines and customs will no longer be the same when everything is over and we overcome the virus, and that is why we now realize the fundamental role of grandparents. Only they are capable of creating a symbiosis of understanding with the grandchildren that create feedback that they both enjoy; the little ones with the wisdom, generosity and patience of their grandparents, and these going back a few decades to revive a kind of second parenthood.
The origin of the celebration is found in the calendar, since today, July 26, the saints remember Santa Ana and San Joaquín, parents of the Virgin Mary and, therefore, grandparents of Jesus. It is a day to honor so many absences of exemplary grandparents that the pandemic has taken away and also to recognize and thank their role in the midst of their own difficulties, with complicated medical situations and just claims with the pension, but always to help the children in utopian work and family conciliation and in economic difficulties.
Let’s take advantage of your wisdom and understanding. Let us appreciate their patience and serenity and, although adapted to the new circumstances, let us enjoy their presence of love for the grandchildren. Happy grandparents day!