End of an Era
Early this morning, my grandmother passed away just a few months shy of her 96th birthday. She was the last of my grandparents, having outlived my grandfather by nearly 19 years and my other grandparents for close to 22. I do not remember thinking of my father as an orphan when his parents passed but that is one of the first things I thought of this morning when my mother called with the news. She and her 5 brothers are now orphans, despite being adults and grandparents in their own rights, they are parentless.
As a grandchild, I am now grandparent-less. Does that make one a grand-orphan? I grew up knowing I was the center of the universe, as I believe most grandchildren with awesome grandparents do. I was the middle of the crowd, number 9 of 18, first daughter of the only daughter. My birth was so important, my grandparents pulled up roots and moved to be near my parents, staying for nearly 13 years. 7 of those years, they lived right next door to us, well, as close to next door as you get in the country: 1/3 mile. We lived back a long drive, they lived at the end near the road. Every morning, they would peek out the dining room window to watch my younger sister and I get on the bus to school and every afternoon, at least one of them greeted us with a wave or cookies. Nana baked every week without fail, no matter how hot it was outside. She made killer donuts, ketchup from scratch that used to be poured into an old Heinz bottle to fool us grandkids into using it and was among the craftiest, resourceful people I have ever known. She was patient, kind and quick-witted to the end.
Nana used to tell me how as young parents, her children were never left with a sitter. Where she and Grandpa went, they went as well and knew to behave themselves. She delighted in telling how all her boys could sew a shirt if they had to, they could all cook and clean just as well as my mother. I do not know if my cousins carry with them the same stories or to what extent she helped shape the people they have become, but I know she taught me more than I could say.
Rest in peace, Nana, Estella Mae Veon Grubb-August 18, 1912-May 22, 2008. You will be missed.
ETA this picture from sometime in either 1971 or very early Jan '72. A wee me with Nana and Poppy, taken in the little house. I assume that this was taken before my sister's birth as I do not see any evidence of her in this picture...framed picture behind Nana's shoulder is me. I still have the Playskool peg desk on the left, along with most of the peg toys I remember playing with. My mother still has the yellow rose vase in the window.