Exodus 20:12 exhorts us to honor our parents. What better way to honor our parents than to honor their parents also. Today I’d like to do just that in advance of Grandparents’ Day on Sunday, September 11th. Unfortunately most of my childhood photos were destroyed so I have no pictures of myself with them. They live on in my memories, however, and in these photos I inherited from their early adulthood.
My maternal grandfather, Louis Heil, was born in 1892. He was a first generation U.S. citizen of German heritage. At the turn of the century, he visited Germany with his parents. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for him to fight against these distant relatives in World War I, but he did as an infantryman. Upon returning to the States, he became engaged to my grandmother, Ida Ackerman, whom he married on November 24, 1921. Their only child, my mother, Edith, was born on December 9, 1922. My grandmother was a housewife, caring for their daughter as well as her in-laws. Gramps was a bank teller and worked for the Franklin Savings Bank in Brooklyn, NY. He retired from there in 1954 as head teller. Being their only grandchild, I was the apple of both their eyes. I have fond memories of trips to the Bronx Zoo, Jones Beach, Montauk Point, the 1965 World’s Fair, and a special trip to Miami Beach with just my grandmother when I was a junior in college.Whenever we dined out, my granddad and I always picked the gooiest, richest desserts. All holidays were split between my parents’ home and theirs. We were a family of five from my earliest memories until my grandfather passed in 1971. Oh, how I loved to see them. My grandmother was an Auntie Mame type and taught me the twist! They showered me with love and played games with me. Wish I had pictures of all of us trying out the hula hoop in 1958! I share these memories with you and encourage you to share yours. It’s one way we can still honor our loved ones. They may be gone, but they are definitely not forgotten. Happy Grandparents’ Day, Gran and Gramps!