Grandparents raising their children’s children are a special kind of people. They are the kind who deserve recognition, applause, a standing ovation even. Because without them, where would those children be? Without mine, I don’t know if I’d be here today. They allowed me to have a childhood. They allowed me to have a fighting chance at life when otherwise I wouldn’t have.

They were there after school, when I woke up in the morning, and when I needed some love. When my own parents couldn’t be, there they were. Always there for me without a complaint.

To have raised your children to adulthood and still raise more is a selfless act of love worthy of more than a mere thank you.

But after all my grandparents have given me, that’s all I can give them back. A simple thank you. And because they are such special people, they would be ever so grateful for that small gesture.

RELATED: To the Grandparents in Our Life, We Couldn’t Do This Without You

Whether parents are incapable or absent altogether, there are often grandparents there to save more than just the day. They are there to save their grandchildren’s childhoods, to prevent them from entering foster care or from living in a situation not fit for a child.

And too often are these grandparents taken for granted. But they need to be celebrated.

As the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing approaches, I am reminded of her selfless act. She lived her life for those she cared for, most of it spent raising children. I was one of those children, but not the only one. I know if she could go back, she would do it all over again. Because grandmothers like mine are a special kind of people. 

My grandfather is still here with us. I could ask him if he would raise us all again. But I don’t need to because I know what his answer would be. Because grandfathers like mine are a gift from God.

RELATED: Thanks For Everything, Grandma and Grandpa

A big thank you to my grandparents. And a big thank you to all the grandparents raising their grandchildren. You are appreciated. You are celebrated. You will always hold a place in the hearts of your grandchildren.

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Katelyn Washington

Katelyn is a writer, editor, and parent to three wonderful children. She is passionate about environmental issues and human rights.

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