Saturday, December 24, 2011


My mother's mother died when she was nine, in 1914.  She and her brothers and sister were raised by their Aunt Ethel, who was their father's sister.  He was off working logging camps and the kids and Aunt Ethel all lived in Ottawa.  By the time she was in her teens, her father remarried and his wife didn't want to be a stepmother, so Mom and her sibs were pretty much dumped by their dad.  She eventually got back in touch with him, and they exchanged letters.  I wrote him one when I was maybe twelve, but I don't remember if I got an answer. 

My father had fought long and hard with his father before Dad headed off to Canada and met Mom.  Dad didn't return to England with his American wife until after his father died in 1938.

The upshot was that the only grandparent I ever knew was my father's mother, and she died when I was four.  I grew up grandparent-free.

Because I moved so far away from my parents, I never really planned on having them in my life.  My mother died right after Chandra was born, and we went to visit my father once when she was six.  Vanessa was pretty small then, and doesn't remember him at all.   SSS's parents used to come down and visit from Indiana in the summers, but, Vanessa doesn't remember them, either.  During their third trip down here, Anna Belle had a stroke in Arkansas or somewhere, and they had to fly home.  We never saw either of them again.  SSS went up for their funerals, but that was after he and I had separated.

Brendan, on the other hand, had a perfectly good set of grandparents, and was in his teens when his PawPaw died.  His grandmother, Virginia Toungate is still going strong, and presiding over holiday dinners as she has all his life.  I hope he knows how lucky he is.

My grandchildren have at least one grandparent in their lives.  Me.  Chandra keeps Aidan in touch with SSS, but his dad's side of the family, while providing a sufficiency of aunts and an uncle, is short of grandparents.  Querida (Luis's mother) is deceased, and Popi was deported.  He keeps in touch by phone, and he and Aidan are quite close.  Ethan has Mike's mom and stepfather.

So, that leaves me, and I am determined that they will remember me, and I will tell them as much as I can remember about my parents.

Wish me luck.  That's a lot of stories to tell before CRS totally takes over.

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