Happy Grandparents’ Day!

Nica, her Grandfather and Me taken at Malacanang Palace Grounds

Nica, her Grandfather and Me taken at Malacanang Palace Grounds

Today our country celebrates Grandparents’ Day, at least in the church where I interpret because we will be honoring them during our service. I’m not sure about it’s history; how it started or who started it. I only know that we follow these occasions from the Americans.

Come to think of it, we pattern some of our significant events from the US like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day except Thanksgiving. We have been celebrating Christmas longer than the Americans. Thanks to the three-hundred years of Spanish colonization. In fact we celebrate the longest Christmas, starting in September 1 and ends a week after January or until we remove the Christmas lights from our windows.

Going back to grandparents day, I got this neat newspaper article from Inquirer.net written by Neal Cruz. He said Grandparents day was set up for a threefold purpose: (a) To honor grandparents; (b) to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children; and (c) to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

Whenever I meet with my college friends and hearing colleagues in the deaf community, I often brag that I still have a grandparent. My lola from my father’s side celebrated her 97th birthday last June. Although she is already wheelchair bound, she is still very lucid and can recognize her family. My parents who are in their mid-seventies still enjoy life’s pleasures especially in caring for their five grandchildren. In spite of their age, they still don’t want to retire. They often tell me that the world is not through with them yet. In fact, they are actively working as part of the administrators of MCCID. I feel so blessed by still having them in my life and continue to guide me into a better person.🙂

When I was asked to interpret for a deaf couple who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary many years ago, I can’t help but get teary eyed as their children were asked to say a short message honoring their parents. They were very grateful because they were raised very well despite the hardships associated with having deaf parents. All of their children were born hearing, college graduates and are now professionals. Thanks to the nurturing and support given by their working parents.

The deaf couple were already in their mid-seventies and their deafness were hereditary. They have other relatives who are deaf. Although none of their children acquired their disability, one grandchild was diagnosed to have hearing impairment. I interpreted for them in another Baptist church during my early years of signing.

I love chatting with them and boy, my head spins around every time I’m with them! The reason was they often use fingerspelling when they sign and they are very good with it. They also spell fast. Although they only finished high school, they are well-read. They often read newspapers, pocketbooks and the Bible. They told me, this is their only defense against deceitful and cunning people out there who would take advantage of their disability.

During their younger days, sign language was not as developed as it is now. There are quite few signs to use, so they often resort to spelling the words. Their hands don’t help me much either because they are so cute and short, typical Asian hands. What I did in order to survive the ordeal of grasping the words is to use the technique called educated guess. First, I get the first and last letter. Then, I connect it with the topic we are discussing. Then, I can decipher the word. More about that in my next blog post.🙂

I heard that the deaf gentleman already passed away and was survived by his wife. He left his family with a good amount of financial security. He has rows of apartments in one of the small cities here.

So to all the “lolo“s and “lola“s out there, Happy Grandparent’s Day!🙂

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