At the opposite extreme to youth is old age. In a forest the eldest tree, in an animal troupe the oldest and wisest members, are respected and guarded by their offspring and the community. Grandparents belong in families and are its historical memory.
Not all grandparents are elderly, many are active in their own lives, while many others play a great role in the lives of their children and grandchildren. A joy to all.
At the same time in the great circle of life there is a time for everything, for birth and death, for coming and going, for remaining and leaving. All should be done with patience, consideration and acceptance. Violence towards the elderly, a negative trait, happens in human families but also in other realms of nature.
Very often it is grandparents who ensure that the most important values are passed down to their grandchildren and many people testify that they owe their initiation into the Christian life to their grandparents. AL 192
it is our elderly, men and women, fathers and mothers, who came before us on our own road, in our own house, in our daily battle for a worthy life. AL191.
Our contemporary experience of being orphans as a result of cultural discontinuity, uprootedness and the collapse of the certainties that shape our lives, challenges us to make our families places where children can sink roots in the rich soil of a collective history. AL 193