I loved my grandma very dearly - but there was pain in her life that was evident until she died. She had given birth to 9 (maybe 10) babies...5 of them lived to be adults.
My grandma and grandpa were married in 1919. Grandma was 23 and Grandpa was 26. I had thought they were younger than that.
I've written about a possible first child, Leila. If there was a Leila, she would have been born in 1919 and died very young.
- Jordan was born September 6, 1920 and died February 5, 1921...5 months old.
- Lydia was born July 5, 1923 and died August 29, 1929...age 6
- Robert was born January 17, 1922 and died September 30, 1923...age 1 year, 9 1/2 months.
- Marian Ellen was born April 7, 1925 and lived to adulthood, but died before her parents in 1970.
- Joyce was born January 17, 1927 and lived to adulthood.
- Pat (Helen Patricia) was born May 26, 1932 and is still alive.
- Marilla was born January 24, 1934 and died April 4...1935.
My Aunt Joyce once told my cousin that she never felt loved by her mother. I'm sure that my grandmother was emotionally drained by that time...and lost yet another baby when Aunt Joyce was only 7. Did Grandma fear (did she brace herself emotionally by being distant) losing her baby Joyce?
- My dad, Thomas, was born a year after Marilla and missed sharing her birthday by a day...January 25, 1934.
- My Aunt Roberta was born August 12, 1937 and is also still alive.
Her first 3 (maybe 4) babied died and she lost another when she still had three children under 10 to take care of.
How would I - or many women living in the medically modern world today - have handled this grief? Would I have done any better than Grandma?
The look on her face in the photo...this was the typical Grandma look. If she smiled ever...I think it was seldom. It's the same look she had in my parents' wedding photo.
The more I see life, the more I understand how important it is to draw into God in grief.