Tuesday, July 06, 2010

My Dearest Daughter

In 1958 my mother got married and moved across the country. These are the letters written to her, mainly by her mother, between 1958 and 1960, as well as other artifacts from my family's past. Others in the series are in my del.icio.us file.

I needed a bit of a break from this series but I'm ready to pick it up now. There weren't any letters that I could from my grandmother from late May through the summer of 1959. What I do know is that my grandmother came out to be with my mom and I didn't end up being born until June 1. My mother and grandmother lived in a little apartment away from the ranch until my delivery, I suppose so that they wouldn't have a long and difficult drive when labor started.

I was born in a clinic staffed by the Medical Missionary Sisters. My grandmother told me once that it was a long, long labor and that at one point my mother said that she had had enough and she got up out of bed to go home. But I suppose grandma and the sisters convinced her that this wasn't the type of job that you could put off until the next day and so she stayed and I was eventually born. I never heard anyone say that my father and I never recall my father saying anything about my birth so I figure he wasn't there. I have no idea why but since he missed all the other big events in my life except for my wedding, I guess it was fitting.

After a few days I suppose grandma and mama and I went back to the ranch and then grandma left to go back to her home and job in Michigan.


I had another grandma. Her name was Lucia. As much as I grew up hearing bad things about my dad, I never heard anything but good things about Grandma Lucia. My mother loved her mother-in-law very much; when a wife loves her mother-in-law I think that says a lot about the generosity and goodness of both women! But I guess Grandma Lucia was very gentle, kind and a holy devout Catholic woman.

My father told me once that Grandma Lucia was delighted to have a new baby in the house. She held me and rocked me and played with me, and as I got bigger I made a special sound of delight just for her. Whenever she came into the room, or eventually whenever I could crawl to find her, I made this little special squeal of joy just for her. Unfortunately Grandma Lucia died when I was around six months old and the family happiness turned to sorrow. My father told me that I never made that particularly little baby sound again.

december 2009 064
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