Monday, April 12, 2010

Remembering my grandmother Mary

It's April 12th, the birthday of my grandmother Mary, who would have been 103. She died at age 97; it doesn't seem that long ago. I have many memories of this grandmother, but had no photos of her in my computer. Mom just sent these: Mary's high school graduation picture (at age 16), and one of the last pictures taken, of Mary in her 90s on the occasion of an all class reunion in Milton, North Dakota. The last alive from her graduation class (and, eventually, the last remaining sibling in her family), Mary was the grand marshall of the parade they had for the celebration. My mother observes: "So both of these photos are school photos!"

I think of her quite often, especially at this time of year. Lilacs in bloom remind me of her, as does the Easter season.

Mary managed to live on her own until the very last weeks of her life, keeping her sharp mind, sense of humor, and interest in other people. She made hundreds of gifts during her lifetime, knitting and crocheting, embodying a sense of both thrift and generosity. She was very practical, fair, and engaging, working as an English teacher for many years. I miss her, and continue to feel her presence in my life. This late photo brings with it the tone of her voice and the sound of her laugh.

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