A Senior Conversation
91.1 The Bridge caught up with grandparents Rick and Cathy Kirschner to see what their favourite moments as grandparents have been, and what they like to do in the region while spending time with their six grandchildren.
The Bridge: You are a grandparent to six children, and five of them live in Fort McMurray. Do you remember the day you became a grandparent? What was it like?
Cathy: Oh yes, my life was changed forever! When we met our first grandchild, Elias, I was instantly in love and discovered a completely different love then I had ever experienced before. To get to watch the next generation grow is such a blessing.
The Bridge: What do you hope to teach your grandkids?
Cathy: We hope to teach them to serve God, to have integrity, and to make a positive difference in their world.
The Bridge: What has been your favourite memory as a grandparent so far?
Rick: Honestly, each moment I get to spend with them is great but I remember my first hug where I knew the child was expressing love to me and that was awesome! I also love working with the oldest one as he learns how to trim hedges and tend to the garden. We love to watch bees together!
The Bridge: This is a very transient city; do you think by the time they are old enough to live on their own there will be enough to keep them here?
Rick: This is a transient city but it is maturing every day and there is always lots for people to experience here. We hope they will experience many foreign lands and experience many of the great regions in God’s big world. We are excited to follow them wherever they go and to support them in whatever they desire to do.
The Bridge: What are your favourite things to get up to in the region?
Cathy: We absolutely love walking in Birchwood Trails, Abasand trails and of course we’re always making visits to Dunvegan gardens! The kids love to look at the rabbits and fish and really enjoy the whole park with the corn maze and the hay rides. And we really love to work on crafts and read and do projects together as well.
Rick: Oh, there are so many great things in this city to do. We love the Fort McMurray Park and have just explored the new Abasand Park which is awesome! In the winter we love the 91.1 Bridge skating for families, and the water park at Mac Island is a must. And we always look forward to the Giant Easter Egg Hunt at Dunvegan Gardens which is so much fun.
The Bridge: Some great ideas there! If you could give one piece of advice to grandparents in Wood Buffalo, what would you say?
Rick: Time spent with your children and grandchildren will not only bring you much joy but also model for them how to live in community, and build community in your home, city and country. Youth are longing for authentic connection. Show them how it’s done!