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An Inspiring Message to Grand Grandparents

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Q: My friend wrote this letter for all grandmas, and it was included in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the Lorain Journal in Ohio. She gave me permission to share the letter with you in your column. Here it is:

Letter for All Grandmas:

I would like to share this with other grandmas. I became a great-grandma this year. A wonderful gift. I can hold and hug this little one. But what about all the babies who will join our family when I'm gone? I love them, too. I made some little outfits and carefully put them into a sturdy box, along with the following letter:

Dear Baby: These outfits were made for all the "little ones" who will be joining our family. I'll not be here to hold and kiss each of you — but my love and care has been tucked into every stitch. Welcome to our family.

I pray your life will be full of love and joy. Find all the good things this world has to give.

So my dear child, dream your dreams and climb those mountains. And always know you were loved, long before you got here. — Ida Horning, Sheffield Lake, Ohio

A: There are some great-grandparents, many grandparents and thousands of parents who read my columns. I was hoping to pass Ida Horning's message on to all of you, so that you can remember to share your work with future members of your families. All my readers know that I emphasize the importance of work in life because work and accomplishment establish identities, self-confidence and your legacies to the future. The work that I would encourage you to pass to your families may or may not be related to your salaried employment. It could be your music, art, crafts, writing, recipes or your thoughts and memories of your life.

It can be in the form of words, music, pictures or products you've created.

Those of us who have never met our grandparents or great-grandparents often feel a void or lack of connection with our ancestors. That void no longer has to be there. You, as grandparents, can record, write, speak, crochet, knit, construct or paint your messages of love to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ask your children to pass them forward in the future. Ida Horning's letter inspired me to be certain to pass on my parenting books. I will autograph each one and give them to each grandchild.

If you are parents, you can encourage your children's grandparents to pass on the work by recording conversations with them about memories of their childhood or even experiences into adulthood. My assistant, Shirley, shared with me how she talked to her ailing mother about her favorite recipes and then prepared a book of those recipes. Now her mother's stories can be shared with future generations.

Will you pass on your songs, your woodwork, your sewing or your jokes? Your loving message will provide connection for the generations ahead. Thank you, Ida, for your inspiring letter.

For a free newsletter about the do's and don'ts of grandparenting, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the address below.

Dr. Sylvia B. Rimm is the director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the author of many books on parenting. More information on raising kids is available at www.sylviarimm.com. Please send questions to: Sylvia B. Rimm on Raising Kids, P.O. Box 32, Watertown, WI 53094 or srimm@sylviarimm.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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