Great Grandpa Siegel and his great grandson Hudson. New Richmond, Ohio
“Love is the root of everything. All learning. All parenting. All relationships.”
“Growth comes from love. And love is about accepting anyone just the way they are.”
-Mister Rogers from his documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor
This is about a 5-year-old my grandson, Hudson. A 60-year-old, me, grandma. And a 90-year-old my dad, a grandpa, and a great grandpa. The 5-year-old is brilliant, energetic and loves exploring and playing. The 90-year-old is brilliant, hard of hearing and has dementia. The 60-year-old is brilliant, a little tired and works to make sure no one gets hurt on our various outings.
My grandson Hudson is very blessed that he knows his great grandparents. My dad has dementia and doesn’t recognize those very close to him anymore unless he gets to see them often. So, we make sure that his great grandson Hudson visits as often as possible.
Taking any sort of trip with a 90-year-old and a 5-year-old is a big challenge. And yet somehow the 3 of us manage. My grandson has a very broad vocabulary and imagination, is a talker, and a great storyteller. My dad is hard of hearing. Most moments consist of “what did he say? What?!” So, there’s me, the 60-year-old repeating the ongoing conversation. LOUDLY. A comedy of love.
Just a few short weeks ago the 3 of us took a trip to a town in Ohio called New Richmond. It is along the Ohio river. My dad, whose short-term memory is gone, enjoys coming here because his long-term memory is a bit more in tack and he remembers coming here as a boy. And what a great treat to bring his great grandson and see him play where once he had done the same. We have lunch. Play along the river shore and listen to great grandpa tell some stories about his visits as a young boy.
Our trip also took us into the hills of New Richmond. To an old church and cemetery called Mt. Zion. My dad’s family is buried here. And on occasion we still go to a Sunday church service or a Memorial Day celebration. On this day the sky was clear, a slight comforting breeze and the view from atop the hill peaceful. Something melts away. We can be playful and silently converse. A direct communication to the heart. Simply and purely wrapped in a relationship of love.
We search the graves for family stones. Hudson tries to understand. He asks me who are these people, these names, these dates. And suddenly, brilliantly, he begins to tell stories about some of the people buried here. There is a knowing. A strong sense of the souls who have come to pass here on this beautiful hill.
As we depart and move down the winding road back to the river below there is silence. We sense the old memories. And new memories that were just birthed today with the 3 of us. And then the 5-year-old says, “Where to now?” And the 90-year-old says “What?” And the 60-year-old LOUDLY repeats.
In Love Always,
Your child, ages 10 and over, can take a fun and interactive enneagram test on our website: N-1games.com
Cathryn S. Hudson (Gaga Lala) works with the Conscious Living Center, The School of Conscious Living and Conscious Dynamics. She is a certified teacher in the narrative tradition of the Enneagram from the School of Conscious Living and holds a BS degree from the University of Cincinnati from the School of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning.