Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Piece of the Past

When my Grandmother died, I acquired several boxes of odds and ends. There were pictures of people I could recall from my growing up, and some I could not. For those, I went to my parents for names to the faces.

In one particular box, I found the registry book from her father's funeral. And in it was this poem, written to my Great-Grandmother, dated October 1886 Groton, NY.

Little Grace

by Wesley P. Morse

As through this changing world I pass,

As wearily I wend my way.

A little child of tender years,

Lightens my burdens day by day.

'Tis she who makes my humble home,

Dearer than any earthly place;

My bright-eyed, happy little Grace.

When worn by toil and anxious care,

Weary and tired at close of day,

One smile on her bright, happy face,

Will drive all anxious care away.

It gently soothes my greatest fears,

The daily cares of life, erase,

And joyous, happy, are the hours

I spend with darling little Grace.

I love to hear her tiny step,

The patter of those little feet,

To hear her voice in happy song-

No other notes seem half so sweet.

I love that look of innocence

That ever rests upon her face,

With joy I kiss those rosy cheeks,

My precious, darling, little Grace.

As future years 'mid changes pass,

If God our humble lives shall span

And she to womangood shall grow,

May I, as now, her love then share.

May I, in my declining years

Still catch the sweet smile from her face;

And may she ever seem as dear,

As now, my darling little Grace.
I'm sorry this picture came out so small; but it is a picture of me at the age of about 4, with my Mom around 24, my Gram and her Mom (Grace). Great-gram and I used to celebrate our birthdays together on St. Pat's Day.
I remember that she smelled of Ben Gay and old lady and she snored a lot. She used to rub the stuff on her forehead like my Gram did. (hmmm, MIGRAINES?????) She died a few years after this picture was taken, and though I don't remember her death, I remember she just disappeared.
She lived in a room off of the diningroom in my Grandparents house. We used to go for Sunday supper every Sunday. I can still smell the meatballs if I think real hard. I know I've posted that before. But my Gram took care of her Mom.
She had two dogs then; a black lab, named Banjo. And a very fat and smelly black and white dog named Huck, short for Huckleberry. My Grandparents loved their dogs. I can remember when it was time to put ole Banjo down, I was trying to make my Gram feel better by talking to her; telling her he would be ok once they gave him the shot. But she started to cry. I felt terrible. I made my Grandma cry. What a loser! I had never seen her cry before, but now I had her in tears. I tried to hug her and tell her I was sorry; and she just tried to smile it off. I'll never forget that day.
How I miss my Grandparents. They were such an essential part of my growing up. From Italian traditions, like the Sunday supper; and my Grandfather's love of the Yankees, and hate for anyone else. (that is NOT an Italian tradition - that was just Grandpa) .
Gram was nutty and funny and outgoing. When we were younger, as in little; she would play Bingo on the weekends - oh, I have her Bingo bag! Frank actually took it to play Bingo one night. Field Days were called "Bazaars" and she went to every one in Oswego county. She would go to the State Fair every year and sit all day at the Ball Bingo game. It was sad when she couldn't go anymore.
Sunday was what she called, "Maid's Day off!" And she would go shopping every Sunday. Not for groceries. She and my Aunt Dianne and my Mom, when I was little would all go. Kids were not allowed. We would watch Laurel and Hardy or The Three Stooges or Shirley Temple. Any of the old movies that would make us laugh. My father would fall asleep, so would Grampa. Then the Yanks would come on. During football season, the game would be on.
Those were the good ole days. I would love to revisit them, out of memory, just once. But ist sure is good to have memory!

1 comment:

Joanna said...

That's so nice to reminisce like that... whenever I go home, I love looking at photos from when I was little and with my grandparents... during this past year, I lost both of my grandfathers, and now I am without any grandparents. I sure am glad that I was able to spend so much time with them all, and that my dad was camera-crazy :-)