Cherish time with older relatives as they won’t be here forever

Boston High School student Caitlin Gallagher
Boston High School student Caitlin Gallagher

“We’ll meet again, don’t know where don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day...”

There is nothing worse than having a blank page and not knowing what to write about! When I was asked to write this piece about something I felt passionate about I wasn’t really sure what to write. So I decided to write about what I know.

Last year my grandad passed away peacefully after 92 years of his life.

I have always looked up to him and seen him as sort of a gentle giant. He was always very tall and had a magnetic personality because of his great sense of humour.

He always had a story to tell, and relished every opportunity to tell the world what he thought.

He was lucky. He had a supportive family and friends who enjoyed listening to his stories just as much as he loved telling them.

Watching him tell stories was mesmerising, his whole face would light up and a glimmer of his childhood past could be seen in his eyes.

However there are many elderly people out there with what I’m sure are some great adventures to tell yet nobody listens to them.

In today’s time elderly people have been stereotyped as forgotten members of society because everyone seems to think that they are not quite there in the head and past it.

I believe this to be a great injustice because it seems to me that the older generation are the ones with the greatest stories to tell because they have lived through it all.

However, it seems that nobody has the time to listen to them any more – they are all caught up in today’s technology and consider the older generation to be behind the times.

Do not forget that these were the people who fought for us in the war so that we could be here today. They should be respected and not shoved aside as if they no longer have a purpose.

My grandad had a fountain of stories to tell, although admittedly each did change every time he told them.

I have gained such knowledge and wisdom from just listening to him and although I am his youngest grandchild by about 30 years I have gained more than a lifetime’s worth of knowledge from him.

Despite there being an age difference of 77 years between us I connected with him as though we were the same age. Because even in his old age his mind reflected that of a young boy in spirit and in humour.

He made me feel passionate about life and living and to always laugh adversity in the face. Grandad gave me the greatest gifts of all, passion and humour, and I will treasure them forever.

So next time you visit your parents or your grandparents just think this to yourself.

That they may have an interesting story to tell too because do not forget that they were once the same age as you.

I wish every day that I could have had more time with my grandad, so cherish these moments you have because before you know it, they’re gone.