Grandparents’ Day, Day of Wisdom. Congratulations!

“If I had known how wonderful it is to have grandchildren, I would have had them first”, says humorously Filiberta Arteaga, grandmother of Luis, Julio, Paola, Mariana, Samantha, Karla, Ximena, Sofia, Miguel, Daniela, Renata, Nicole, Hannia, Julieta and Victoria. “All of them, at different times, have been my joy with their pranks and, although they have grown up, they keep filling my soul. They are a garden of love that grows in the heart”.

Grandmothers and grandfathers are love, understanding, wisdom, dedication and strength. They offer us a priceless treasure. They are a fundamental pillar in the upbringing of their grandchildren; thanks to them many parents can go out to make a living; they transmit experience, tranquility, stability… simply LOVE.

August 28th, Grandparents’ Day

On August 28th, Grandparents’ Day is celebrated in Mexico. The date is different from the one celebrated in other countries in Latin America or Europe. For example, in Colombia it is celebrated on August 16th, in Venezuela on May 29th, in Chile on October 15th, and in Spain on July 26th. Anyway, this August 28th is our Grandparents’ Day, a date that has several possible origins.

The possible origins of Grandparents’ Day

Some people say that it was established on August 28th since it is the feast of Augustine of Hippo, who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries and is considered the ‘father’ of the Catholic Church. Saint Augustine laid the foundations of Christianity as we know it to these days. It is said that his conversion to Christianity occurred in adulthood, thanks to the influence and prayers of his mother, Santa Monica.

Saint Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Saint Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Another possible theory is that, in 1957, the Pan-American Congress of Gerontology (scientific discipline that studies aging) was held in Mexico. During the congress, Colombian Guillermo Marroquin Sánchez instituted August 28th as Grandparents’ Day, and since then in Mexico adopted it.

The most accepted and credible theory is that on August 28th, 1994, the radio broadcaster Edgar Fernando Gaytan Monzón instituted the date from his radio show “La Hora Azul” in Chihuahua. María Grever’s song Cuando vuelva a tu lado (When I Come Back to Your Side) performed by Eydie Gorme and Los Panchos served as background music and witness to that event.


The Statement that Edgar Gaytan read when establishing Grandparents' Day. Photo: Facebook @edgar.gaytan.585
The Statement that Edgar Gaytan read when establishing Grandparents’ Day. Photo: Facebook @edgar.gaytan.585

Although in Mexico City there was already a day dedicated to grandparents since 1983, it was not until 1998 that August 28th was instituted as the Day of the Elderly. Interesting, isn’t it?

Phrases to reflect and dedicate to your grandparents

They are full of wisdom.

1. “A grandmother is a person with silver in her hair and gold in her heart”, anonymous.

2. “There are parents who do not love their children, but there is no grandparent who does not adore his grandchildren”, Victor Hugo

3. “One of the most powerful handshakes is given by the new grandchild on the finger of his grandparent”, anonymous.

4. “We should all have a person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence. My grandfather was that person for me”, Phyllis Theroux.

5. “One of the joys of being a grandfather is to see the world again through the eyes of a child”, David Suzuki.

6. “It is natural that we often feel closer to distant generations than those immediately preceding us”, anonymous.

7. “Perfect love sometimes doesn’t come until the first grandchild”, English proverb.

8. “A grandmother is a wonderful mother with many years of practice”.

9. “A grandfather is an old man on the outside but still a child on the inside”, anonymous.

10. “Some of the best educators in the world are grandparents”, Charles W. Shedd.

11. “Grandparents are there to help the child get into mischief they haven’t thought of yet”, Gene Perret.

12. “When grandparents walk through the door, discipline flies out the window”, Ogden Nash.

13. “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty years old. She’s ninety-seven years old now, and we don’t know where the hell she is”, Ellen DeGeneres.

14. “Every generation rebels against their parents and makes friends with their grandparents”, Lewis Mumford.

15. “A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance”, anonymous.

16. “The grandparents, like the heroes, are as necessary for the growth of children as vitamins”, Joyce Allston.

17. “For a little boy, the perfect grandpa isn’t afraid of big dogs or fierce storms, but he is absolutely terrified of the word ‘boo’”, Robert Brault.

18. “Your daily life is better understood if you know the history of your grandparents”, anonymous.

19. “Grandmothers are voices from the past, role models from the present, open doors to the future”, Helen Ketchum.

20. What children need most are those that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, life lessons. And most important, cookies”, Rudy Giuliani.

21. “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature. But the beautiful old ones are works of art”, Marjory Barslow-Greenbie.

22. “My grandfather has the wisdom of an owl and the heart of an angel”, anonymous.

23. “No one can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents drop stardust on the lives of young children”, Alex Haley.

24. “The reason why grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy”, Sam Levenson.

25. “There is no accomplice in our lives more beautiful than a grandfather; in him we have a father, a teacher and a friend”, Leticia Yamashiro.

Congratulations to grandparents on your day! Photo: PxFuel
Congratulations to grandparents on your day! Photo: PxFuel

Translated by: Ligia Mabel Oliver Manrique de Lara

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