Youngest of the Youngest

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My father’s parents, ten years before I was born.

My father was just shy of forty when I was born.  He, too, was the youngest in his family and his mother was forty when he was born.  So when I finally arrived on the scene, half of my grandparents had already passed away, and I was a little-known grandchild in a sea of grandchildren.

I barely remember Granny Scarbrough.  I was young when she passed away.  In my memory, she always wore a blue dress, her silver hair in an elegant bun, with cat-eyed glasses.  She had a stately formality about her, reminding me more of Queen Victoria than a cuddly grandmother.  She was born in 1889, so if she were alive she would be 123.  To put that into perspective, when I used to complain about all the laundry I had to do, my father would regale me with tales of how his mother had to get out the giant kettle and heat up the water on laundry day, complete with washer board and wringer.

Granny Scarbrough with my older sister, 1958.

My mother’s father passed away when I was a teen.  He had outlived two wives, and seemed old long before he was old.   I’m not sure he could ever remember my name.  It seems like every time I saw him, he would ask me if my older brother had graduated from college yet.  (He was on the “extended” plan.)

My husband knew all of his grandparents well.  His childhood memories are filled with summers spent on the farm, adventures with Granddaddy Red, holidays shared at the beach.  I can only imagine.  Because they were a long-lived bunch, most of my children met a great-grandparent on his side.

Four generations on my husband’s mother’s side; 2005.

My children adore their Mima.

When friends who are much older than I am tell me about caring for their aged parents, I stand in awe (and a bit jealous).  The idea of a grandparent having a relationship with a grandchild holds a magical allure for me, and makes me resolve to stay fit and active, because I want to be an AWESOME granny.  (I’m banking on it.)


Comments (0) Nov 04 2012