Monday 23 April 2012

T is for Tradition

We grew up without seeing our grandparents often, they lived in Jamaica.  We use to watch our parents write and send money back to help them get much needed things, and make the trips to the post office for them.  We looked forward to returned letters of thanks and what was happening back in Jamaica.  I didn’t meet my grandmothers until I was 18 years and took our first family holiday. My paternal grandmother had a playful character, she loved to laugh, I wanted to spend hours listening to her talk.  My maternal grandmother was quieter but had a peaceful spirit and you immediately felt comfortable in her presence.

Being in the UK we were not there when they got sick and our parents would send money back for siblings who lived in Jamaica to help get the care they needed.  I never saw or imagined what it could be like to care for your parent as they got older, in my mind our parents would stay exactly as they were forever and never grow old.  But we did, we grew old and our parents grew frail and we wondered where the time went.

My son has grown up with his grandmothers and has seen the impact on the family as they got ill, with his paternal grandmother passing when he was 7years old.  For my mum the once family traditions of meeting for dinner with the grandchildren playing each weekend has been replaced with schedules of care and who is on that weekend.  We try and continue the many traditions knowing that as they get older the kids will be developing traditions of their own..  What kind of traditions do you still keep from your childhood days?

Words so far....

A is for Alzheimer’s, B is for Behaviour, C is for Carer, D is for Dependant, E is for Enough, F is for Fear, G is for Guilt, H is for Health Professionals, I is forIdentity, J is for Judgement K is for Knowledge, L is for Love,  M is for Motherhood, N is for Neighbourhood, O is for Opportunities P is for Purpose, Q is for Quietness, R is for Regret, S is for Strategies

These posts are part of the A-Z Challenge taking place during the month of April.  I have been sharing about my experience as a carer to a mother with Dementia.  If you would like to know more join the Arts in Health Network and also check out my website for information on some of the work I have done with Creativity and Dementia.


  1. My parents are long gone and as we live in Canada and although some family live in England the others are somewhat scattered, the only traditions we keep are kept together.

  2. It is sad! I lost a lot of family when I was 18. A lot of them lived far away and we only knew them from mail and phone calls. Our biggest tradition is Lemon Sugar cookies. We bake them for Christmas and mail them to relatives back home. We also try to make ornaments for everyone's tree. It is beautiful to keep these traditions so our children can pass them down and add their own.

  3. Jo, that often happens when families live in different countries, my husbands family try to meet together every 2 years for a family reunion.

    Ella, this is a lovely tradition, mmm the cookies sound delicious.


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