Today, June 1st, would have been my great-grandmother Pauline’s 98th birthday. Sadly, she lost her fight with blood cancer at the age of 89. I am very grateful to say that I had so many years to know her, I was 24 when she passed away. I know she is always in my heart and I will always love and miss her. Anyway, I did not intend this post to be about her death…but about my memories of her.
For as long as I can remember, my great-grandmother was always a warm, friendly person. I always looked forward to visiting her (and my great-grandfather when he was alive – he passed away when I was 11, I think) in Vermont and her visiting us in Florida later. Her (their) house is something I will always remember, even though now another family owns it. Oh, I remember the wallpaper and all the pictures everywhere.
When we’d visit them, when I was a kid, I remember my great-grandmother always made us breakfast. Bacon and eggs fried in that bacon fat….and toast. A nice hearty breakfast. To this day, I absolutely LOVE eggs fried in the bacon fat. My great-grandmother always made sure to wear the bracelet or other jewelry she had that had her grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s pictures on it. I know she was a sentimental woman that kept everything (as I was told so later to confirm this). She loved to share information about our family (now I wish I’d listened or asked more, but that’s how we are when we are younger). She was a wealth of information, my grandmother (her daughter), says she doesn’t know/remember all that her mother did.
My great-grandmother never forgot a birthday or a holiday. She was always sure to send a card and a gift. I am still so angry and sad that on her birthday in 2006 my apartment was broken into and a necklace that I got of hers was stolen (along with all my gold jewelry and my camera – whoever broke in knew what they wanted). The few things I still managed to keep from her are very treasured. Since, she was not of the “computer” age, she always wrote such lovely notes…and she wrote me fairly often (in addition to birthdays and holidays).
I remember that she was strong-willed and was determined to drive until she couldn’t. I remember her taking me around places in Vermont…and whenever we went out to eat, we always had to have ice cream. She once told me…”ice cream fit in between the cracks.” Hehe. Also, she loved to mow her huge yard on her riding lawn mower. When I smell fresh cut grass, it almost always brings a smile to my face. And she lived alone in her house until just about the very end…
Her and my great-grandfather always seemed like such a wonderful couple, they were married for over 50 years (before he passed away). They had three children – my grandmother, and my two great uncles.
- My great-grandmother was a member of the Grange for over 70 years.
- She went to the Rutland Business College and got a degree in Shorthand in 1933.
- During WWII, she was a lookout for enemy aircraft (yes in VT).
- She passed away on her and her husband’s wedding anniversary – Oct. 27, 2003.