My Grandmother’s Stories

25 Apr

My mother, with no small amount of foresight, asked her mother to write down stories she remembered from her life. Stories that the rest of us might enjoy having around. Well, my grandmother died in March. It was hard to talk to my mom and my brothers about it because I wasn’t just sad that my grandma (the apple-pie grandma) had passed, but also because the loss of your last living grandparent reflects somewhat on your own mortality.

Imagine my surprise when this image showed up in an email from my mother. It turns out that my grandma had filled out a great many journals with little tidbits that she remembered. Since she was not functioning at 100% for a while before she passed, both physically and mentally, these treasures mean that much more. When I last saw my grandma, she had a tendency to repeat herself, check the mail several times after she’d already gotten it, and drop off in the middle of sentences. Reading this reminds me of the joyous, witty woman that my grandmother had been.

And no, even though my mother has been sending me typed translations to accompany the difficult to read handwriting, I’m not going to do that for you. I haven’t looked at the Courier New versions and I don’t think you should either. Betty is far more present in her sometimes illegible script than she is in a serif font.


Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Grandma's Stories


Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “My Grandmother’s Stories

  1. Charles Smead

    April 26, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    This is amazing Toby. What a fortunate foresight to have gotten your Grandma to write stories out in her own hand. I actually enlarged the letter to get a closer look at the handwriting… it is almost like looking at someones face very closely. Now I’m feeling rather choked up. Thanks for sharing this and thanks to your mom. C.

  2. Charles Smead

    April 26, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    Sorry… on one other note that comes to mind looking at this….. Laurie Anderson once used the analogy of an “entire library burned to the ground” to describe the death of her father. I cant imagine a more clear example of this idea than in the letter you posted. We are all made of our stories.


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