Parents are usually cared for and offered a bed in their child’s house when they reach an age in which they cannot live alone without endangering themselves. European-American families on the other hand are not hesitant to shovel their elders into retirement homes. This wiser generation of people living with their grandchildren may be one of the largest differences between families with circular or linear world views. This is evident in many novels in the Latino literature sector.
The text Canicula by Norma Elia Cantu tells her life story through snapshots. One chapter that displays the role of grandparents is actually named after her grandmother Bueli. The photo adorning the chapter is her being held by Bueli and two other sisters as she rocked them to sleep on a chair. The following text was a story when nine women crowded a living room for Mother’s Day. Bueli does not say much in this chapter other than advise her granddaughter who just had a child to “Cuida la nina”. This is particularly fitting and depicts perfectly the values within families. This support does not only come from the elders.
There will reach a time in everyone’s life where they can no longer care for themselves and at this point they will need help from their children and grandchildren. The giving perpetuates itself because when an elder is living and being taken care of by their family, they will naturally be around to guide the children through the struggles of their adolescence.