Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Bowl of Jello

Written by  Linda Bobowski

Facetime and Skype have brought a whole new perspective to grandparenting. Even the term itself would not have been used a generation or so ago. When I was a child, we just went to see Baba and Gido, Nana and Papa, Gramps and Grandma. Those were the days when you jumped in the car (minus the seatbelts, car seats, etc.) and went for a Sunday drive for dinner and, if they lived further away, maybe you got to spend a few days visiting. The telephone was used sparingly if they lived far away as the long-distance phone charges were expensive, though they were the least expensive on Sundays.

I was lucky. My grandparents on my Dad’s side lived right across the street from our house. Every day after school, my sisters and I would trot across the street to visit Baba and Gido and of course, we had to have a bowl of Jello. The TV was always on as that is how my Baba learned English. She spoke to us in Ukrainian and we had to respond in English. Now even though my heritage is Polish, my parents and grandparents settled in a predominately Ukrainian speaking area in Saskatchewan. If we missed the visit, we would get a phone call letting us know that our Jello was waiting for us in the kitchen. It wasn’t until later after Gido died that the significance of the Jello came into light. My Gido would go to town on the bus, leaving early in the morning, and would return in the afternoon with a box of Jello that would be made that evening for the grandkids to devour the next day. That was his outing, his time away to visit friends and catch up on the news and if the Jello was not finished that day he did not have an excuse to go out the next day.

Unfortunately, we do not have the good fortune of having our grandchildren live across the street. The oldest ones live in Calgary and the littlest one in Masset. But with technology we can stay connected. Granted it is not like being there. We have missed many a ringette and hockey game, many a Sunday dinner, and other events too numerous to mention. We do manage to message them in the mornings to wish them a happy day and facetime in the evening to read a story, find out about their day and what is new with them. When we do get together it is truly Baba and Gido time. We enjoy every precious moment we have with them. Just the other day, we told the three-year-old Baba and Gido have booked their flight to visit in the summer. Evie, who just recently moved to Massett on Haida Gwaii in British Columbia, was in Terrace when we told her we were coming. My daughter and her husband were taking the 7:00 am ferry back to Masset and Evie woke up that morning and said to my daughter “Mommy hurry! We got to get on the ferry. Baba and Gido are coming!” 

We may not be eating Jello everyday, but Facetime and Messenger have been my method to visit everyday.

Read 209 times Last modified on Friday, February 23, 2018