Do you have a favorite grandparent memory? In honor of March for Meals, we’re sharing our favorites with you!
My grandmother was born in what is now Moldova in Eastern Europe. Because of the pogroms in Kishinev, her family left the area when she was five years old and immigrated to America. She always told a story about arriving on Ellis Island on Christmas Day. Apparently, all the children who arrived on that day were given an orange…the first orange she’d ever tasted!
Late in my grandmother’s life, her eyesight was failing, so it became unsafe for her to cook – once she even caught her apron on fire. So she became a Meals on Wheels recipient, which enabled her to stay independent and at home for five or six years longer than she would’ve been able to otherwise. I am proud to work for an organization that serves Meals on Wheels to seniors like my grandmother.
-Andy Hoffman, Chief Operating Officer
During school holidays as a child I would stay with my maternal grandmother, Grandma Cinana, at her home in Thika, Kenya. I always loved staying there because she would let me sleep late – sometimes until 11 AM! When I woke up she would make me crepes for breakfast.
My great-grandmother (Cinana’s mother) was named Teresia Wanjiku. I loved her so much. She was sharp as a tack – no one could trick her, no matter how old she got! Back then in that part of the world, they didn’t keep accurate birth records…but Teresia Wanjiku lived to be over 100 years old and therefore knew not only her great grandchildren, but her great-great grandchildren. She had a long, healthy life.
-Margaret Kiromo, Receptionist
My grandparents were devout Mennonites who lived in Kidron, Ohio. I vividly remember going to their house on Sundays for lunch after church. My grandma would always cook for us – something with meat and potatoes, usually. I remember spending the afternoon sitting around the big table in dining room, talking and taking time to be together.
-Jen Newman, Human Resources Specialist
My maternal grandmother, Nina, was born into a very religious family in Serbia, Eastern Europe. When she was only five years old, her parents devoted her to God by sending her to live in a convent to become a nun herself. Her childhood was spent in daily Bible study, taking music and history lessons. By the age of twelve, she already spoke three foreign languages (Russian, German, and Romanian), aside from her own native Serbian language.
However, God had his own plan for her life. When the World War II broke out in Belgrade, Serbia in 1941, her convent was bombed and the nuns found themselves without a roof over their heads. Only 21 years old and never outside the convent, she found herself lost in her own country thinking of ways to survive. Soon after, she found a job as a music and language teacher, met my grandfather, married, and had three children. The former life became a memory she thought of as an old forgotten novel she once read.
Fast forward to my childhood, she always used to tell me that with faith in God we can overcome any difficulty and strange twists in our lives. Whenever I find myself in a difficult situation, I think of her life. Her words give me strength to overcome even the most difficult obstacles.
-Tamara Abdulovic, Director of Human Resources