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Dear Grandparents: Paternal Grandmother

October 7, 2013

Dear Grandparents,

I apologize for the lack of letters.  I’ve been ill and then my husband had to be taken to the ER after slicing his finger.

I’m going to talk about my paternal grandmother.  I do not have any fond or happy memories of her.  She was a strong woman, a perfectionist, a secret keeper.  She loved us of that I had no doubt but she wasn’t particularly “grandmotherly”. Here are my memories in no particular order:

  • She worked 2 and 3 jobs at a time.  On her one day off, she would hire a cleaning woman to assist her in cleaning the house from top to bottom.
  • I remember her working at a nursing home, in the kitchens, at a time when she probably should have been living there.
  • The one time I showed her some needlework as a child, she said that it looked nice but then turned it over and told me that I would know I was truly good at it when the back looked as nice as my front.  The back of this piece was a mess…from then on I’ve tried to make my backs look nice too.
  • She hung everything we made her on the walls of her home.  I distinctly remember seeing crafts I made in girl scouts on her walls.
  • Most of the time I was growing up, she was separated from my grandfather.  The only time I remember seeing them together was at my high school graduation party.
  • I remember her telling me emphatically that I was NOT of Blackfoot ancestry, but of Cherokee.
  • on her deathbed, she told my father who his father really was…
  • Every time we visited, she would ask my mom if she had put on weight and ask my dad if he had lost weight.
  • Dad told me that his mother gave birth to him in a shack in Missouri.  He talks about the relatives there as Hillbillies just like the the ones from the show “Beverly Hillbillies”, living in homes with dirt floors.  I assume these were her relatives.

Honor to you Grangran.  I hope you have found the peace and happiness after death that you never seem to have in life.  Love you.

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