Sunday, June 6, 2010

A year ago today...

A year ago today, my paternal Grandmother passed away. She was 104.

She was born the year after the Wright Brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk.

When she was 9, in 1913, her hometown of Fairmount, IN experienced the equivalent of four months of rain in three days, a Midwest flooding that destroyed a large part of Dayton, Ohio. In the picture above she is standing with her nephew, the floodwaters lapping at the steps of her home.

She was 14 when The War to End All Wars ended, in November, 1918.



She was a young mother of two girls and two boys during the depression years; she and my Grandfather traveled to Knoxville, TN looking for work during these years. Grandmother was 37 years old when America entered the Second World War.


She was a careful and frugal housewife, as the times required, and with her husband raised four children that embodied integrity and honesty, just like their parents.

She was an accomplished seamstress and needlewoman; she was also an artist, quilter, a great cook, Mother, Wife, Sister. One woman, many roles.

My Mother with Grandmother in the mid 60's. Such elegant women.

Her sewing machine, circa 1960; at the time a state-of-the-art Singer 401. I think you needed a college degree to figure out how to use all the cams that create the decorative stitches. The needlepoint stool was her work. Her needlepoint is breathtakingly beautiful.


In later years her creative passion turned to French beading, and she made the most exquisite beaded flower arrangements. These are two of my favorites.


In 1996, when she was 92. A picture from my parents 40th wedding anniversary celebration. Growing old takes a lot of courage, to know that you are the last living member of your generation. A lonely place to be; my Grandmother had courage in spades.

In 2005, at Grandmother's 101st birthday celebration. In the last few years I enjoyed giving Grandmother a doll for her birthday. Her short term memory was being hijacked, but she never lost her sense of humor, and she always knew each of us.

From the Wright Brother's first flight, to Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon. Terrible wars and a devastating economic depression, but also Women's Suffrage, the end of Polio as a childhood killer, and the Civil Rights Act. Cars, planes, computers, cell phones. A shrinking globe and a population that grew from 80 million to over 305 million in the US alone. What a century my Grandmother witnessed.

We miss you, Grandmother.

29 comments:

  1. Beth, what a wonderful, beautiful post. It was as beautiful as your grandmother. What a lady, you could see that in the pictures. You certainly were given a treasure in life with her and I know that she richly blesses you each and every day now from above. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story.

    Cassie-b

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  3. I love the way you did this post. The way you remember your Grandmother & the way you honor her life & all that she endured with such obvious grace. My heart and prayers go out for you as you are undoubtedly missing this wonderful woman you love.

    Thank you for sharing her story with us.
    Hugs & Blessings,
    (¯`v´¯)
    `*.¸.*´
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`♥Anita

    http://aseknc.blogspot.com/
    aseknc(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. What a lovely story of a lady who lived through many of the same years as my father who was born in 1904 and died in 1998. That was a wonderful generation of people who knew that hard work brought its own rewards, that love was to be shared, and that children are our step into the future.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

    Hugs,
    Lois

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  5. Oh, Beth, what a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. Her beading is wonderful. What a talented lady, and how great that you inherited that from her.
    Lisa

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  6. I don't know what to say. I am so touched by your post.

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  7. Beautiful story of a beautiful woman..
    Beth,you are very lucky that you had such a grandmother!
    Thank you for this post!

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  8. Wow thank you for that post really beautiful :) x

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  9. My Grandmother lived to the age of 103. Like yours, she lived through 'History'. What a remarkable age! They had a tough life didnt they, but were so happy. I wish it was the same these days.
    I'm making Blankets for the Elderly in memory of my Grandmother as you know.
    Nice post I enjoyed it.
    Hugs Suex

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  10. I really enjoyed this. Thank you for sharing. The other comments already express exactly what I would say.

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  11. What a lovely lady. Thank you for sharing her with me. I'm sorry for your loss.
    My father was from her generation. I think they were stronger then. (He's been gone 34 years, and I still miss him.)
    Hugz, D'Ann

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  12. Thank-you all for your generous comments. I don't think we ever stop missing the ones we love who are gone. We live with it, but their absence is a emptiness in our lives. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to know my Grandmother, not just as a child, but also as an adult.

    Thank-you all, dear friends, very much.

    Beth

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  13. What a beautiful lady! You were blessed to have her in your life. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. What an amazing woman and an inspiring, touching post. Your grandmother REALLY lived.

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  15. What a moving story you were very blessed as we all are by our parents and grandparents ,it touched me as I lost my dad this past winter he was 86 and I miss the stories of yester year of how life was one thing we can all appreciate is there memories thankyou for sharing...Diane

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  16. Oh Beth, this brought a tear to my eye. What a lovely gene pool you have. You are blessed to have had your grandmother for so many years. A life well-lived. You honored her memory in such a lovely way and you honor us in sharing it with us so we can be a part of it.

    Thank you Beth,

    Joyce

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  17. Thank-you all so much for your kindness and touching words.

    Beth

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  18. Hello! I just came across your blog and wanted you to know how much I enjoyed this account of your grandmother. Such a nice tribute to her. Have a nice day! Twyla

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  19. Thank you so much for sharing your photos and memories of your grandmother. I recently lost my mother (at 94) who shared most of the same trials in life as your grandmother. Your grandmother was a lovely lady! BarbM

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  20. Thank you so much, Twyla, SweetPeaknits, Barbara and Kim, for your kind words.

    Beth

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  21. Such a beautiful tribute post - thank you for sharing her life and some of your memories of her with us.

    Be well,
    M.L.

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  22. Thank-you very much, M.L.

    Beth

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  23. This is a wonderful story and I can fully relate having had a gramma and aunt of my own like this.
    I learned a lot of things from them My Mom was not crafty but she was a great cook.
    So what she lacked in some things she gained in another. I love the dolls and used to make my own and have 4 old sewing machines too lol
    One day I will blog them lol

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  24. Thank you for your good words, A Lady's Life. We are fortunate to have known and loved such good women.

    Beth

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  25. What a beautiful post about a beautiful lady. What an incredible life she must have had. Your post & photos are a wonderful testament to her.

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  26. Thank you so much, Bama. I was so lucky to know my Grandmother, both as a child does, and as an adult.

    Beth

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