Grandparents are often our family historians. They are the keepers of memories from a time before we were born while also experiencing our current lives. They know childhood stories from before our long-term memories form and have lived experiences we will never share. Grandparents can be essential to our childhood development, and the benefits of strong relationships with grandchildren are clear.
A Japanese study of intergenerational interaction between seniors and pre-school children found that these relationships are invaluable to seniors. “When older adults are given meaningful roles such as the opportunity to nurture and mentor children, their self-esteem increases in association with feeling needed, valued, and a sense of self-worth, and older adults are reminded of their role in society,” the authors wrote. The study even found an increase in smiles among seniors who interacted with children.
But our grandparents cannot carry the stories of our lives forever. As we age, so do our grandparents. “The final lesson these adult relationships with our grandparents teach us is the inevitability of loss,” journalist Josephine Tovey wrote. “But through it we learn how we can become torch-bearers of histories, cultures, and memories, if we choose to hold on to them.” And we can hold on to them through artistic memorials like Carina Yepez’s quilt.
Additional Quilt Information:
Materials Digital print, beads, satin, appliqué and quilted on cotton
Technique Machine quilted
Dimensions 38 x 20 inches