POST 50
09/09/2015 07:22 am ET | Updated Sep 09, 2015

This Is Why We Love Grandparents

National Grandparents Day is coming up on Sunday, Sept. 13, so Huff/Post 50 decided to take a moment to celebrate the incredible contributions grandparents have made to our lives.

We asked you to tell us about your own grandparents -- and your own grandchildren. We were inundated with inspiring stories. Featured below are just 25 of those amazing grandparents. On Friday, Sept. 11, we'll publish stories from grandparents gushing about their grandkids. From what we've seen, grandparents aren't ready for the sidelines. They want to be -- and are -- active, engaged, involved and appreciated.

Happy Grandparents Day everyone!

  • Roger William Sather
    Phyllis Sather
    When I was sick, "Grandpa Sather, our only living grandparent, was in his 70s but said he could take care of our 3- and 5-year-old daughters while I regained my strength. And he did! That took almost a month, but he was faithful. He even managed to take them for walks to the park and fix me lunch. To this day, he is known for his grilled cheese sandwiches. He always had the patience to stand and watch them until they were browned just right, where I was always multitasking and managed to get them overdone every time." -- Phyllis Sather
  • Gib Bolander
    Jamie Weitl
    "My grandpa, Gib Bolander, was the father figure in my life. Even though there was a 70-year age gap between myself and my grandpa, I can't imagine growing up any other way. He imparted numerous life lessons. He was always willing to go out for a drive and talk about everything under the sun. Sometimes we discussed the corn and the beans, sometimes boys, and all of the other vital aspects of life -- how to avoid debt, the importance of education, etc. Experiencing the death of my grandpa who had raised me, just as I was becoming a mom myself, was one of the most difficult and conflicted times of my life. I was so overjoyed to finally have a son, but heartbroken to face parenthood without Grandpa's guidance." -- Jamie Weitl
  • Dr. Irving Plutzer and Ethel Plutzer
    Jessica Mallo
    "From the moment I was born, my grandparents have been a second set of parents. Now, as a mother, I revel in the adoration my boys have for my grandparents, an honor many women my age -- 36 -- never know. There are moments that stand out as truly special. The first is when I met my husband. My grandparents, being devout Jews, had to adjust to me deciding to start my life in an interfaith relationship. They have been supportive and present for each of our interfaith celebrations. Their unconditional love for me and my family, exactly as we are, is extremely powerful, and much appreciated." -- Jessica Mallo
  • Julio Piñón Gutierrez and Sofia Piñón Gutierrez
    Yvette Trujillo
    "My mother’s parents are incredible and, being Latino and staying true to the cliché that comes with being a Catholic Mexican, my mother is one out of 12 children. My grandparents met and got married at a young age, not uncommon in those days. She was rich and he was poor, but this did not stop them from having the best life together, taking care of their children in times where it was hard to maintain a big family, especially since they did not have much in the first place. But they made it work, and they created a family dynasty that I am proud to be part of. They suffered, along with my mother, but they never let it define them and their lives, for all their happiness and what they did, was for their children." -- Yvette Trujillo
  • Alice Roost Trei
    Lisa Trei
    "When my grandmother was growing up on a farm in rural Estonia in the early 20th century, the only things her family bought were nails, tools and oil. They raised, fished, hunted, harvested, wove, sewed, carved and built everything else by themselves. When 19-year-old Alice Roost Trei immigrated to New York City in 1929, arriving three days after Wall Street crashed, she brought with her a deep well of thriftiness and self-reliance. Those qualities, plus a strong work ethic, carried her young family through the Depression. A quarter century after her death, two of my grandmother’s sayings remain with me: 'You make your own luck' and 'It’s a work-a-day world.' I try to live by those lessons and pass them on to my own children." -- Lisa Trei
  • Lydia Anderson Pryor
    Joy Kay
    "I am an only child of an only child (my mom) and my grandparents were like a second set of parents to me. My grandmother, Lydia Anderson Pryor -- 'Nana' -- was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She was the only child of Souviller Anderson, a single mother, who worked as a domestic. Souviller left her daughter Lydia home with her mom, Lydia Duckett Anderson, a former slave and mother of 12 children. Nana met and married my grandfather, Ernest Pryor -- 'Pop Pop' -- the son of a sharecropper from Spartanburg, S.C. With little education, Nana worked as a domestic and Pop Pop worked as a maintenance man when they moved to New Jersey. They raised my mom, Ernestine, to value education and sent her to Newark State College, where she studied Education. She became a teacher and eventually became an administrator in the court system." -- Joy Kay
  • Jim and Betty Darnley
    Emerald O'Brien
    "My grandparents, Betty and Jim, are the true leaders of my family. I have never seen a love like theirs for us and for each other. They put family first and have always been there for me through the highs and lows of my life. One high was my wedding day. To be able to share that special time in my life with them -- I am forever grateful. We had spoken about marriage many times before, and they taught me to put the other person before yourself -- that as long as both parties did that, we could make it work." -- Emerald O'Brien
  • Clare DeAgostine
    Matt Jacobi
    "In mid-March, my boyfriend Nick’s grandmother died. We're still grieving. The first time I met Grandma and was introduced as Nick’s boyfriend, it was a special moment for Nick as he always had a sense of nervousness around telling his grandparents about us. [But] Grandma was not only accepting and showed unconditional love, but she also was a firm believer that God never judged. Grandma treated us like any other couple and loved seeing how much we cared for each other. Recently, I went home to Arizona to see my own grandma, Clare DeAgostine, who we call 'Nanny.' If you asked all seven of her children, 13 grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren about what Nanny is like, they would all say she is the nicest woman you will ever meet. One of the many things I am so thankful for that Nanny has given me is the belief that all love is love and equal in her eyes." -- Matt Jacobi
  • Allan Pivnick and Marilyn Pivnick
    Evan Statt
    "My grandparents are the glue that holds my family together. They are arms, lifting me up when I need to be lifted. In the 17 years of my life, my grandparents have taken the role of my friends. My grandpa, Allan, is a wise soul. I have learned from him about the key that opens a door to a place called life. He has taught me patience, the difference between right and wrong, and to never have anger in me. I carry these life lessons with me everywhere I go. My grandma, Marilyn, exudes elegance and grace. I seek her thoughts when I need advice. Her gentle guidance always leads me in the right direction. I look up to them both as the epitome of what a beautiful marriage looks like. They have been married 54 years and met while my grandpa was interning at Long Island Jewish Hospital and my grandma was working at the information desk. I have never seen them fight. They are so good to each other because they love each other endlessly." -- Evan Statt
  • Karthiyayini M. Madhavan
    Uma Nigith
    "My grandmother was the first feminist I must have seen. She would have neither known what feminism was nor heard that word either. But she was one lady who behaved and expected to be treated as an equal. She believed she was no less or no more than her husband and it was evident in the way she spoke, behaved and in her body language. I must have been 6 or 7 when I started to really observe her and her actions. She commanded respect, be it from her husband or her 10 children or her own siblings. It is from her I learned that if you don't respect yourself, no one will respect you. Coming from a very conservative south Indian family, I know what makes me different is what I have seen in my grandmother. The pride of being yourself and believing that you aren't inferior to anyone." -- Uma Nigith
  • George Hager
    Betty Clicker Photography
    "It wasn't until I saw [my grandfather George Hager] lying there sick, pale and fighting that I realized he was my best friend. My whole life, my grandfather, Favah, had been special. From day one he was preparing for our life together. He was the one I cried for when I got in trouble. I was his excuse to eat a little too much ice cream. Even when I left the country he flew halfway around the world just to see me. He made me promise to get my degree before I ever thought about getting married. I was waiting to find someone who was as loving, kind, and quietly strong as he was before I’d ever consider it. And when I found that man, no one was more eager to welcome him than Favah." -- Jillian Cowherd
  • Fritz Garlichs
    Jackie Goodwin
    "My grandfather loved to play games. He taught me chess, Chinese checkers and all kinds of card games. I hardly ever won -- but didn’t mind losing. Grandpa was always ready to play again. And I never noticed when he cheated. He taught me to dance the polka at my uncle’s wedding. Grandpa spoke English with a German accent. He ate liverwurst and headcheese and pumpernickel bread. He’d interrupt any of his sixteen grandchildren if we complained because things could always be worse. 'If it hurts when you fall off your bicycle and skin your palms,' he once told me, 'don’t hold out your hands.' Years after Grandpa died I learned more about his life -- the hardships he endured growing up in post-WWI Germany and his journey to the U.S. in 1928 when he was 25." -- Jackie Goodwin
  • Burdette and Barbara Blumer
    Lea Burke
    "My grandparents embody a grace and culture that don't seem to exist any longer. One may think that would make me feel less than ordinary in comparison. But to be lauded and awed by such class, for my ordinary self, is in itself, the very definition of extraordinary. I know, in their eyes, I am a treasure, held in the highest esteem." -- Lea Burke
  • Gizella Czinke Pozner
    Brian Madigan
    "My grandmother was born in 1919 in Hungary and came to Canada when she was eight. She was always there, she never judged. I was her perfect little grandson, the first, and always her favorite. When I was 14, in 1975, I met a boy at an arcade. We ended up under the pier, looking for a private spot. We kissed. It was my defining moment. I finally understood that I was gay. The fantasies, and crushes, suddenly made sense. A few days after we got home I was in my grandmother’s kitchen helping her kneed dough. She turned to me with a very serious look on her face 'Brian, do you like boys?' she said. 'Of course,' I replied, knowing I wasn’t getting away with it. How did she know? 'No,' she said, 'I mean, LIKE boys, like boys like girls.' I was terrified, took a deep breath, and trusted her. 'Yes, I do.' 'OK,' she said. That was it. There would be lots of embarrassing questions, and difficult moments, in the coming years. But, she stood by me through it all with unconditional acceptance. No matter what, I was perfect just the way I was." -- Brian Madigan
  • Emmit Bascom Hall
    Hermetta Pillion
    "My Grandfather gave me one of my sweetest memories. Descended from Cherokee Indians, he was quiet and usually not demonstrative or open with his affections. He was a small man, and had done his share of hard physical labor in his lifetime. I don't remember him smiling a lot, but when he did, it lit up the room. I had two cousins that were a year or so younger than me. My Grandmother loved their dark hair, and often commented about how pretty they were. If I'd been around my Grandma more, I'm sure it would've hurt my feelings, but I only saw her once or twice a year, so I truly was OK with it. I was a skinny, freckled, red-headed kid, and so shy that being singled out would have made me very uncomfortable. But one day after my Grandma was talking about the girls, my Grandpa put his arm around me and said, 'This one here is the prettiest one.' I wasn't really, and I was a little confused by his actions. He went on to say, 'She has the Hall nose.' It was only in looking back on that years later that I realized how unusual and how kind it was. He thought I felt slighted and in spite of the fact that it wasn't his way to get involved in conversations like that, he spoke up to try to make me feel better. I'll always remember it. The day Grandpa bragged about me." -- Hermetta Pillion 
  • Marta Lara Llanos
    Barbara Matus
    "My grandmother is my inspiration because at the age of 94 she shows me every day the value of following my dreams and the importance of pursuing my happiness. She has taught us to serve others with a kind smile on our face, and to become a better person after learning from our mistakes. My grandma is not a sweet grandmother -- she doesn't bake cookies -- but she is special and unique in her very own way. She is strong and determined. She is patient and a best friend." -- Barbara Matus
  • Russ and Ruth Getchel
    Laurie Brookins
    "In 1938, Russ Getchel hitchhiked from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to Selfridge, an Army airfield on Lake St. Clair near Detroit, and by doing so created our family. Russ flew pursuit planes in World War II and was stationed all over the world, even as he and [my grandmother] Ruth built a home in East Detroit, raising three children, the youngest being my mother. Three decades after enlisting, Russ Getchel retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. As the oldest grandchild, I worshipped him -- not only for the glamorous image of a World War II pilot, but also for the kind, funny, gentle man (and gentleman) I knew. He baked zucchini bread, planted roses for my grandmother, taught me where to cut them so the next stem could grow, and every summer had the radio tuned to Detroit Tigers games." -- Laurie Brookins
  • Lucy O'Connor
    Samantha Hines
    "Anything that is good in me is because of [my grandmother]. I have said these words more times than I can count, but that doesn’t diminish their power or their truth. My grandmother moved in and stayed just long enough for me to glean a glimpse of what a parent does for and with a child. She stayed with my brother and me, rose before us to make us breakfast, made sure we left the house for school respectably and respectfully. She spent time with me and listened when I talked. And though her formal schooling was short, she was wise; though she knew abuse, she was gentle. She showed me the mother I wanted to be when my own mother could not." -- Samantha Hines
  • Wenscelaa Sanchez
    Faviola Barreto-Tabler
    "I am originally from Asunción-Paraguay, [and] I love my paternal and maternal grandparents dearly and oh so much! They were always a big and very important part of my life. Both of my paternal and maternal grandparents had lived in the same city, in the rural part of Paraguay, in Iturbe city. My cousins and I would spend all of our summers with them as well as holidays and any school breaks we had. They were hardworking people, honest, and innocent in a way that most people are not any more these days. All I remember is how much they have always loved me, and showed me how much they love me and care for me." -- Faviola Barreto-Tabler
  • Bong Soon Cho
    Angie Bahng
    "Whenever I look at this picture, I am reminded of how much I miss my grandmother -- not only who she was as a person, but everything she represented to me about selflessness, sacrifice and, most of all, being a mother. She was the unapologetic matriarch of our family, with the kind of character and perseverance that only comes from years of raising nine children, becoming a widow, surviving the Korean War, and immigrating to the United States knowing no English and raising another generation of four grandchildren. She was and still is in my memory, the woman I admired so much because I was nothing like her. She loved the peace and security of building a life at home, and she had a green thumb (that unfortunately I never inherited) as evidenced by the overflowing rose bushes and giant zucchini plants in the backyard of our Chicago bungalow." -- Angie Bahng
  • Lucile Morris Wanamaker
    Nancy Lay-King
    "My grandparents were just folks, but I’d bestow sainthood on them for the miracles they produced in my life, especially my grandmother, Lucile Morris Wanamaker. Born and raised in Fort Worth, and mighty proud of it, Lucille often reminded those around her that 'her people' came from New Orleans, an exotic connection she enjoyed. This isn’t a story about a great artist; she didn’t invent anything; nor did Lucile travel beyond where a car or train could take her. But she was there, all 4’, 11” of her, instilling generosity of heart, good manners, and a love for family that in dark times continues to remind me I was really loved." -- Nancy Lay-King
  • Dorothy Luczak
    Rachel Linneman
    "My grandma never missed a grandparents day at school. There was a kid in my class who never had his grandparents there. My granny always insisted that he sit with us during the grandparent activities much to my protesting. This kid was smelly and weird, no one liked him and, besides, I wanted her all to myself. She would say, 'you better be nice, you don't know what he is going through.' I found out years later that he was from Croatia and that his parents had fled with just the clothes on their backs and that his grandparents were dead." -- Rachel Linneman
  • Helene Krasnow
    Iris Krasnow
    "This is Helene Krasnow, in 1996, with her four grandsons in Maryland. The boys are now 25, 23 and the twins are 21. Helene, who died in 2006 at the age of 86, was a native of Warsaw who survived the Holocaust but lost her immediate family and several nieces and nephews. She loved her grandchildren deeply, and used to hug them so tightly. After the horror she had witnessed, she was so grateful to have a new generation of family, alive and healthy." -- Iris Krasnow
  • General Mike P. Cokinos
    Demetrios Cokinos
    "My Papou –- Brigadier General Mike P. Cokinos -- received the Silver Star for valor during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. My Papou has always been the master storyteller. His acts of bravery inspired me so much, that I would dress up in army clothes with my best friend Taylor and reenact every one of them. His stories became so real for us that there was a point when Taylor and I dug a literal four-foot bunker in my backyard so that we could have a realistic experience. At 94, he still carries a twinkle in his eye and a contagious laugh for anyone who stands next to him. This picture shows my Papou surrounded by his wife, seven children, and his 31 grandchildren." -- Demetrios Cokinos 
  • Lily Goulding (Nanny Lily) and Shirley Daniel (Nanny Daniel)
    Gary Goulding
    "In the past two years I've lost both of my Nans. Nanny Lily, my father's mother, never knew I was gay -- or rather it was never mentioned -- and I was always absolutely fine with that. We had a fantastic rapport. She gained my respect by declaring she thought my Madonna CD, playing one Christmas, was 'lovely' and I gained her respect by showing the old ex-dressmaker I could sew pretty 'darn' well, asking her for help for my GSCE textiles project. I was the perfect gay grandson she never knew she had! In comparison, Nanny Daniel, my mother's mother, was a formidable woman who knew I was gay and had a strong hand alongside Mum in raising my brothers and me with good manners. She swore 'til the air would turn blue and would make my brothers stand in the corner with hands on their heads whilst sneaking me into the kitchen to have tablespoons of butterscotch malt, giving me the ol' 'Sssshhhh!' with a wink. Unbeknown to me, my brothers got that too while I took my turn in the naughty corner. My Mum told her I was gay. My Nan had said she always knew I was a sensitive little thing, in the nicest possible way. I miss them both dearly." -- Gary Goulding 
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