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Respecting Our Elders…Learning the Legacy


June 19, 2014

I was driving along the other day when I saw a cop car with its flashers on and behind it was a hearse and the accompanying family/friend cars followed behind. I immediately pulled over and waited for the funeral processional to pass, when low and behold I looked and saw other cars driving along, not bothering to stop and wait for just 1 minute to allow the cars to pass.

Can I tell you HOW MUCH it annoyed me? So much that I wanted to jump out of my car and hit them because I felt like they were being so rude and disrespectful. Is it a southern thing or do people just not know that is the “rule”?? 
In this day and age, I feel like so many people have lost respect for our elders…we are told that growing old is a bad thing and that we should try to look as youthful as possible. As much as I am all for trying to look and feel young, I think there are definite benefits to aging.

For me, I relish in the fact that I have grandparents who are still relatively young. One benefit of my mother having me at such a young age was the fact that I was able to go everywhere with Gran and Papa. If they went on vacation, I was with them and I have so many fond memories of my childhood that include G&P and their matching attire (yes, they ALWAYS wear outfits that color coordinate and it is THE cutest thing in the world). 

What I am trying to say is that when you get a chance to hang out with family, or you have an opportunity to sit down and listen to your elders tell stories, listen…I am constantly finding out new things about my family, or fun experiences they’ve encountered on their journey when I take the time to ask. They won’t be here forever so I am always wanting to spend quality time with them to learn, grow, and know, and pass on that knowledge to Caroline and Carson, too. 

Recently, I was at G&P’s house and Papa recapped stories from when they were freshly married (he was 17 and my grandmother was 16), he was in the Navy, they lived in Germany, and I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed when they shared these incredible life experiences with me. They lived with a German family who spoke little English, my grandmother was pregnant with my Aunt Denise, and they were just trying to make ends meet the best they knew how. I’m proud of the legacy my grandparents have made for my family and I, and what they have accomplished during their lifetime never ceases to amaze me. My grandfather worked two jobs, and my grandmother worked when their three girls were in school so that they could give them more in life than they had…college educations, braces on their teeth, the list goes on and on. I can never repay what they have done for each one of us, but I always try to find ways to let them know how amazing they are, and how we are who we are today because of their sacrifices and always putting family first. Coming from nothing, they did their best, worked extremely hard, and have left a lasting impact their family is extremely proud of…thanks Gran and Papa, I am forever indebted to you. 
  1. Kelly-Belly says:

    I love this! Thank you for sharing! : )

  2. Great post! 🙂

  3. im an OT, and work in the geriatric field. it floors me how families dont come and visit more….there is something wrong with our culture…. many other cultures take care of their own… So, if you haven't visited someone lately who lives in an AL..or nursing home..go visit them!!! They are your blood….your family… I agree…they have the most amazing stories..lessons..advice.

  4. Meredith says:

    Such a sweet great post!

  5. Brooke says:

    I agree! People have lost respect for elders and simply don't take the time. Tombstones don't talk back Y'all:) Go visit your grandparents!

  6. Courtney W. says:

    Oh my gosh, this was perfect for me to read this morning. Yesterday was my grandmother's funeral and during the processional from the church to the cemetery more than a few cars just hopped into our line and cut some of us off. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive because I'm still mourning, but it upset me so badly. She was the last grandparent I had left, but it's comforting to me to know her stories will live on through her kids and grandkids! Grandparents really are the best.

  7. This was such a great post! I love my grandfather in 2006 and there's not a day that I don't wish I had him back here for just one day. People take things for granted and small things really mean a lot to people – whether you know them or not!

  8. Rachel says:

    Oh, how true is this. It's definitely a "rule" where I'm from to pull per for funeral processions. I just think it's incredibly disrespectful to keep going. Thank you for this reminder–we all need to remember this and take it to heart! I love my grandparents dearly and am so thankful for their influence.

  9. Nat says:

    This a great post! Funeral processions aren't very common here but when I notice them I try to stay away or pull over if possible.

  10. Love this sweet tribute to your grandparents! I'm so grateful to still have two of my grandparents living, and I'm constantly reminding myself not to take any time with them for granted bc, like you said, they won't be with us forever!

  11. Jessica says:

    Agree with you 100% – people have lost respect and it's so very sad. Glad to know that there are fellow Mamas out there who will work hard to make sure that their kids DO show some respect! 🙂

  12. What a sweet post, and I agree completely! You should never take one day for granted with your grandparents.

  13. Caitlin says:

    I would be willing to bet mega-money that people didn't notice the the funeral procession. When I'm out running an ambulance with sirens and lights going will go by me and approach an intersection and it takes the emergency vehicle FOREVER to cross the intersection safely because people have zero clue what's going on around them. I watched several cars nearly t-bone an ambulance in an intersection the other day because they just weren't paying attention.

    • Caitlin says:

      I guess point being, people not only need to be more aware of their surroundings when driving for your reasons above as well as safety, but they also need to put down their phones and really pay attention to their surroundings in life.

  14. Erin says:

    I definitely think it's a southern thing! Being from Nashville I feel like growing up I never saw a lot of people being rude and disrespectful but having lived in Washington for the last few years, I think they would honk at you for stopping for a funeral here. And then…society is just changing so much the younger generations aren't taught manners the way previous generations are. It's really sad!

  15. Both my Mother and Grandmother died last year and one of the memorable things that stand out to me are the cars which pulled over. My Mother also worked for the City and as we drove past city hall many of her co-workers were standing outside (they had been at the funeral). Perhaps it is a southern thing but I also know that those in the procession likely noticed the ones who did pull over. Small acts by each of us are appreciated.

  16. Beautiful post! I feel the same way about my grandparents. I love listening to their stories and feel so close to them when they share memories of their past. I grew up in Miami and that's what I was taught to do when a procession went by, get out of the way and let them pass!

  17. This is gorgeous, I have tears in my eyes. Really beautifully written. I'm super close with my Nan. She's the most amazing woman. There's something special about that generation. So many of them came from nothing and have worked so hard for everything. Completely selfless and inspiring. Thanks for the post. Also I'm cooking your Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas this weekend (my husband is pretty excited!) Lucy x

  18. Lea says:

    Such good words. I live in the deep South and I still see this happen at times. I think it's because people stay in such a hurry and just do not feel they can slow down for anything. Very sad! Happy weekend!

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colorful life + style blogger | native nashvillian | wife and mom to two darling little ladies | bringing you all the happy you can handle

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