We Don't Give Our Grandparents Enough Credit
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Politics and Activism

We Don't Give Our Grandparents Enough Credit

Just a call once a week would suffice

We Don't Give Our Grandparents Enough Credit
Danielle Bautista

When I was first preparing to head to college, which was almost 2,700 miles away, all my extended family and neighbors kept reminding me to call home—specifically my parents—every week. During my first year, I would do so dutifully, but mostly out of habit. I wanted to divulge in all the new things college had in store: community bathrooms, sharing a room with someone I didn't know, going to various clubs, befriending exchange students, etc. My family and I would have a laugh, and then we would go on with our lives.

It wasn't until I watched the show Master of None that I realized I should be calling my grandparents too.

I was always grateful for what my grandparents did for my family and me. On some weekends, they'd take my brothers and me out to Filipino parties and have us sing and dance in a talent show like setting with other grandchildren. They would take us on camping trips almost every year to a new place. They'd treat us to things that they knew our parents wouldn't buy (like fruit roll ups) But my fondest memory of my grandparents is the stories they'd tell us.

On my mom's side, my grandparents grew up in war-torn Philippines during World War II. My grandpa liked to talk about how he and his friends escaped the gunfire by hiding in the field or riding a water buffalo—pronounced boo-fah-low as he would say—in the river. My grandma grew up in the city, and life was quite different from that of the countryside. One of my favorite stories is how my grandparents met. My grandma was by the upstairs window playing the piano and singing, and my grandpa heard her voice and listened to how effortlessly she played music. One day, he built up the courage to knock on the door of her parents' house. Her father answered, and my grandpa asked if he could court his daughter, to which he replied, "Which one?"

Years later, all my grandparents—my mother's parents and my father's mother—found themselves in the U.S. having a difficult time adjusting. My mother's grandparents set a strict budget for the family so they could pay their bills on time, but every once in a while my grandpa liked to splurge and buy his children a nice pair of shoes. On my father's side, my grandpa died in the Korean War, and so it was solely up to her to raise two boys on one income. She worked multiple jobs simultaneously, and she made the executive decision to send her boys to private school on Oahu while she stayed in Kauai to pay for their education.

As I've spent more and more time away from home, I realized that even though my parents may have been at the forefront of supporting my brothers and me in our life's endeavors, our grandparents are the true backbone of our upbringing. So, if you can, call your grandparents and thank them for all they have endured in their life to ensure your happiness. Without them, we wouldn't be here—literally!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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