Sunday, January 6, 2008

I wish you had known my grandparents!

I had trouble coming up with something to write about today. I went back to NaNoBloMo and looked up the writing prompts group and found this.

My grandparents--how I wish that my children had had the chance to know any of them! They were all very special people. I didn't get to know my grandfathers as well as my grandmothers, but I have heard many stories about them.

My grandfather C. was born and raised in Panther Springs, a section of Hamblen County, Tennessee that, at the time, was not far from Morristown, TN (now it IS part of Morristown!) He worked as an adult in two different businesses: for Keener Dental Supply and for Hamilton Bank. He was frugal man, but I am sure that came from the time when he lived: he actually kept his job during the Depression, and I can only imagine how that affected him. One favorite story of Pawpaw is how Mawmaw gave him a pair of pajamas for Christmas. He thanked her and put them, still wrapped, away in his drawer. So the next year, Mawmaw wrapped up that same pair of pajamas and gave them to him for Christmas. Again, he thanked her and placed them in the drawer. The third year, he caught on...and was not amused!

My grandmother C's name was Emma Amanda, but she always wanted her name to be Emily instead. She was the second oldest child, and was very young when her mother passed away. Her older sister, Maude, had already married when their mother passed away, so the duties of the woman of the household landed on her. She helped raise her siblings, especially Douglas and Miles, who were the youngest. All of her siblings are gone; only Miles' wife is still living.

Mawmaw was a housewife, and was a world class gardener. Her yard was always filled with beautiful flowers. I am told that she was a fantastic cook, but she had started declining by the time I remember her cooking much for us. She came to live with us when I was 13, and would live with us part of the year each year until her death when I was 17. We got to be very close. She was my confidant and my buddy, and I was the one who took care of clothing her each day. I could pursuade her to do things that she wouldn't do for Mom and Dad. I have very fond memories of this time, and miss her to this day!

My grandfather P. always lived far away from us, and I only got to see him 3 or 4 times in my life. He lived in Dallas, TX. He was a graduate of Georgia Tech, and in his younger years was in Big Bands with his brother. He traveled the south playing and conducting bands. The problem with this was that he and his brother were both color blind, and in those days, traffic lights weren't uniform with the placement of the colors! So they had to watch traffic to see when to go and stop.

Granddaddy Bill was a very smart man and invented many things, such as a part to convert from wrapping loaves of bread in bread to plastic. He sold his patents to the companies for which he worked, so unfortunately, we aren't inheriting millions from this and his other inventions!

We called my grandmother P. Sing. Her father had called her that as a child, and she didn't feel as though she was old enough to have grandchildren when my oldest sister was born. So instead, she instituted us calling her Sing! By the time she was older, though, she wished that we had called her something more affectionate.

Sing was a very determined lady. She worked for the Army as a civil servant after WWII, and was sent to Occupied Japan to work. She couldn't take my mother with her at the time, but she worked until she was able to send for her. This was very much unheard of in the 1940s! She was a women's libber before her time! She and my mother also attended college together years later.

Sing was not without her idosyncracies and such---there were times that we really struggled to get along. Looking back, part of our struggles were the same as her struggles with my mom--we were very much alike! She suffered from depression for many years, but unlike me, only realized it late in life. Had things been different, I believe she would have been much happier lady.

OK, well.....that is a note about my grandparents! They helped shape me into who I am today!


Misty said...

what a great tribute. It's so important to remember our past generations. it's so easy when we are young to not see fragments of them in us... this was lovely!

Geggie said...

Thanks for coming to visit my blog.

Oh...grandparents...I knew all four of mine and lost my last grandmother in May. I'm so blessed to have had them all in my life!

Christy said...

Just wanted to let you know that you won the custom header in my contest! You can get the link from my blog and contact her. Congrats!

Randy said...

Very nice. I was lucky enough to have all my grandparents in my life well into my thirties, but I wish I had allowed more time for them. I miss them very much but live their lessons every day. They taught me humor, humility and humanity.

MarysMom said...

Thank you for sharing this. Reminded me of my grandmother whose birthday is this month. I will blog about her, too.

Rachel said...

I'm lucky and have only lost one grandparent... Sometimes I feel sorry for any future children, because they won't get to know my dad, though. Thank you for sharing such a touching post.

oh amanda said...

What a beautiful and very cool post! I love knowing the stories of our ancestors!