14 April 2011




It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, and during that time spring has managed to finally present itself! For the most part, the use of a macro lens is needed yet. For those of you who just stop by for the photos, feel free to check out, 'cuz there's a long post ahead... ;o)

In addition the eight plates I'm currently juggling, (I really don't understand how I got anything done when I had a job!) my Grandma U died on Monday. I've probably shared two dozen or so posts about my Grandma and Grandpa R. Photos in this link and it will take you to some. They lived on the farm right next door, and their hay fields and cow pastures surrounded our property. But G&G U lived about twelves miles away, so we didn't see them nearly as much.

Yesterday I searched around for a photo of Granny U. This is the first one I could come up with.

She's the one who could care less about being there. ha!

This was taken at our annual family reULEion in 2002. My Dad is standing, far right. Uncle Jerry, seated below Dad, passed away the following year, making my Dad the current oldest. All the "kids" are close. If there isn't a reunion the first weekend in August it's because there was a wedding or graduation that year so "we all just got together in July anyway!" Granny's treatment may have played a hand in their connection to each other, but I really couldn't say.

Grandpa U died in 1981. The way I see it, Granny may as well have put a bullet in his head. She divorced him after 40 years of marriage. She was always so cruel to him, but he wanted nothing more than to please her. Granny was an excellent seamstress and owned her own drapery business. When Grandpa retired, he didn't have much going on to keep himself occupied. My Mom worked with Granny, and has a theory that Grandpa, who was very mechanical, would tinker with her machines when she wasn't there so that she would ask for his assistance in getting them running again. Mom said he always had no problem figuring out where the trouble was. Like I said, it's just a theory, but it doesn't surprise me that he would go to this length to receive a kind word form her.

I could share dozens of stories, sadly. My sister and I have talked several times now in the last few days, and not to be cruel or anything, we have no real happy memories of her. Mom and Dad told us at a very early age that if Granny made some promise to us, we should try not to be disappointed if it didn't fall though. Imagine being a parent and telling your child, "I know Granny said she'd come and take you to lunch or shopping or whatever, but just go out and play so you're not just sitting around waiting."

All in all, I don't feel like I lost out on anything since I had a loving Grandma right next door who would take me fishing and go on bike rides. I didn't blame Granny for her being the way she was, and my relationship with her was like that of any elderly person, in that I would ask her how she was, and she would share. I was one of seventeen grandchildren on that side, after all. It didn't matter all that much that she didn't have time for us individually.

Granny had Alhemier's for the past ten years so I hadn't seen her in about five. She wouldn't have known me these last few years anyway. Plus she grew even more cruel. From what I heard, that frail little woman could pack a punch!

Strangely, one of the last few times I saw her, she handed me a small leather change purse. At the time, she said "when you were little, you said you liked this, so you can have it." It had belonged to her father. I don't recall ever seeing it before but it's rather unique. I probably did see it as a child and said "hey, that's cool!" or something. For some reason she remembered this and I thanked her. She also gave my sister some object in the last few years, then shortly afterwards called her up accusing her of stealing it. So, I'm equally thankful Granny didn't have my number.

great-grandpa schiller's change purse


Nancy said...

Well, it's true what they say about not being able to pick your relatives. You get what you get, I guess.

My dad had Alzheimer's for quite a few years up to his death in 2007, and he went through his angry stage as well.

Glad you got the purse and that she didn't send the cops after you. :)

Dawn said...

I love this story....it's bittersweet but I can so relate as my grandma went through similar predicaments!!! (as did I:)....and being accused of their forgetfulness was a huge learning curve in love;)

texwisgirl said...

oh that photo speaks volumes, i'm afraid... so sad. i hope the 'kids' will continue to be close for many years to come. your poor grandfather...

the coin purse is at least something to remember her by. if not happy memories, than at least one that wasn't really too painful...

like the reULEion... :)

By the way, those upper two shots are GORGEOUS!!!

Canyon Girl said...

It is so sad when our relatives get old and difficult. It sounds like your grandmother was a bit difficult most of the time, but then who knows what went on in her life. My grandmother was difficult too. Of course for me that was such a very long time ago that it has all mellowed out by now. One good thing about time.

Dianna said...

Glad you at least had one loving Grandma. I only knew my Mom's mom, and she was great.
Oh - and our family has had a reunion the first Saturday in August ever since I can remember. Sadly, my mom and her 11 siblings are all gone now, so it isn't quite the same.

bon bon said...

all of you are so sweet. it's my guess she had some mental disorder (bi-polar?) that was never recognized or treated in her day. the alzheimer's then just kicked things up a notch. i'm sure she didn't mean to project her misery the way she did. all her kids are happy, stable and unlike granny, loves cats.

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

Your grandma reminds me of mine (on my father's side). The difference is that when mine got sick - Alzheimer too! - that's when she started trying to approach me. Too late, though.

The coin purse is cute, istn't it?

I loved the "peekaboo" pictures!

Leontien said...

ohhhh wow! Loved the peekaboo pics!!!!

very very nice!

bon bon said...

miriam, i could relate to your recent post about your grandma. maybe these two women had similar hardships. it's difficult to guess. i don't believe my grandma was as blatantly malicious as yours. she never said things like "that woman's daughter". granny was simply disingenuous in words and actions. i should probably be thanking her for the early life lesson that not everyone can be trusted.

leontien, so glad you like them! spring is being such a tease this year! :oD

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