Grandparents definitely worth their due

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Grandparents don't always get the ovations that they deserve.

Overall, we as a society don't appreciate the golden generation around us. We should take advantage of, and appreciate more, the combined years of life experience, education and wisdom they have to offer us.

This past Sunday, Sept. 11, was National Grandparent's Day. Anyone who has living grandparents is very fortunate. I was very blessed to have had William Hollie and Exa Lucille Sexton and James Thomas and Nettie V. Grayson in my childhood and on into adulthood. I miss them all very much.

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With this respect and gratitude that should be shown to our elders also comes an unmistakable realization about them. There are special rights and privileges that can only come with having lived longer than those around you.

In other words, they can say whatever they please and get away with it.

How many of us have heard these bone-chilling words from our mother? "Are you going out like THAT?" To which, I, having obtained two college degrees and having lived on my own for several years, will do what any mature, dignified and responsible adult would do. I go change my clothes.

Of course, there are the, "Oh, my, haven't you put on weight?"

Or "Um, honey, is that your natural hair color?"

And, of course, there is my all-time favorite: "Are you expecting?" I think most of you already know that scoreboard – Cats 4, Kids 0.

At a family reunion, a cousin of mine made a special dish just for her grandmother, who was a diabetic. With one taste, her grandmother chewed slowly, put the spoon down and then said, "I think I've had enough of that."

Humorous anecdotes from golden agers can be found anywhere at anytime. Dinner on the grounds is a tradition at Sacred Harp singings, but one particular day stands out to me. I'm standing behind a gentleman who is known for his comical ways and who has just been called upon to ask the blessing. This is what I heard: "Dear, Lord, we thank You for this day and for this singing. We ask You now to bless this food and the hands that prepared it, etcetera and etcetera, amen." I guess he was really hungry.

Mrs. Clyde Watkins was a Sacred Harp singer all of her life, and when I met her, she was close to 80 and full of spitfire. I could sit by her and be sure of some good entertainment.

Now, everyone knew that Mrs. Myrtle wore an extra hairpiece on the top of her head, but, of course, one did not dare make mention of it. Lunch had been served outside that day, as usual. There were some low-lying branches that hung over the long tables outside, and Mrs. Myrtle just happened to walk right under one of the lowest. As people began to file back into the church for the afternoon service, Mrs. Clyde hollers out, "Myrtle, your hair is hanging in the tree!" All you could see the rest of the afternoon were shoulders shaking from people trying to maintain some kind of composure, but it didn't do any good.

After discussing the earned rights and privileges of our elders with Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, he asked me to stop by the store and get him some of that new hair product "Just For Cats." He said that he's been noticing a little too much gray in his whiskers lately.

Regina Grayson is a reporter with the Greenville Advocate.

She can be reached at 334-383-9302, ext. 126 or via e-mail at