I remember how important my grandparents were to me. Even from a distance, growing up in Hong Kong they had the most special place in my heart. I am not sure what it is about grandparents but they are sometimes even a step above our parents as we grow up. They love us unconditionally, they are old and therefore wise, they have great stories of the "old days" and for whatever reason, very, very special.
Which gives us as grandparents amazing opportunity in the lives of our grandchildren. We can say things to them that others (even their parents) cannot say and be heard. We can love them without being the disciplinarians. We can talk about faith issues without them thinking we are pushing an agenda. We are, after all special.
What is the most important thing we leave behind with our grand kids? It is an example of a life well lived, a faith that meets all circumstances with grace and trust in Jesus. It is belief in them that they can be what God made them for. It is love that mirrors the love of Jesus. It is the example of simple faith lived out in the day to day issues of life - loving Jesus with all our hearts.
Grandchildren don't often forget their grandparents. Long after they are gone I remember mine and one of the things I look forward to is a reunion in heaven. Theirs was not a sophisticated faith: it was real and powerful and authentic. The way faith is supposed to be. Most of all I remember their love for me and acceptance of me.
I am thankful for the relationship my kids had with their grandparents. They taught them many things including some mischievous things. My father in law from peasant roots in the Ukraine taught the kids how to make switches from the apple tree in his back yard and fling apples far and wide in the neighborhood - thus ridding his lawn of apples :). He taught Chip how to jerry rig anything to fix something. My mother in law from Sweden took the kids on long walks through the nature preserves to learn flora and fauna. My folks allowed them to be themselves even when it might have offended their sensibilities.
Grandparents are special. If you are one, leave them two things: unconditional love and a love of Jesus that they cannot ever forget. You have amazing power in their lives. Use it to help them grow as individuals and as Christians. Grandparents may have more influence over their grandchildren than even their children.