Thursday, June 28, 2012

HEAVEN: valuable 4-generation snapshot discoved

DearREADERS,
Three days intensive scanning of my father's compiled genealogy, and we're beginning to see the light of day. My genealogy will be much easier to scan, since it is organized and in notebooks.

Among the treasures is this four-generation picture I didn't know existed. I know it's not much too look at, but it means the world to me. (No, I don't have cataracts in my right eye.)



The baby is my oldest daughter Tamara Jeanne (Smith) Rounds, 6 weeks of age.
Tammy is held by my father, Glen S. Player, M. D.
Dad has his arm around his mother, Myrtle Eliza (Weiser) Player Severinson.
I am on the right, also helping Grandma stand up.
Taken in February 1972 at the home of Glen and Blanche Player in Bellevue, Washington.

Grandma had Lou Gherig's disease, and would die about six months after this photo was taken.

I remember this visit well. Tammy was really too young to travel, but we made the trip anyway. I recall thinking I'd rather come up and visit Grandma now than attend her funeral in a few weeks.

At this stage of the disease, Grandma couldn't speak, so she communicated in writing. Instead of going through reams of paper, Dad thought to get her a "magic slate" similar to this one for sale at Amazon.com. It's the kind of inexpensive kid's toy where you write with a plastic or wooden stylus on film covering black waxed background. When you are through with one message, you lift up the film to erase the previous message. That was high-tech texting circa 1972.

I remember arriving at Dad's home, finding Grandma sitting in a chair. She had tears in her eyes and was very excited to see her great-granddaughter Tammy for the first time. We "talked" back and forth. Grandma recalled how I had once made a disparaging remark about going to Redondo Beach house of one of Dad's cousins when it would just be Grandma, Uncle Harley and Aunt Grace Butler, and ???. I had hoped my young cousins would be there, and in despair I said "I don't want to be with all those old people!" Now all I do is hang out with "old people" as I study the lives of ancestors who've long since passed into the great beyond. Of all the things to remember me by, Grandma!

After about 45 minutes, I asked Grandma if she wanted to hold tiny Tammy. She wrote on her slate "I couldn't, I don't want to drop her." I said no problem, and placed the baby in Grandma's lap, and knelt by her as we both cried at the miracle little baby girl.

Grandma soon tired, and Dad all but carried her to her room. We had to return for my husband's work, but were staying the night in Tukwilla, the home of my maternal grandmother Frances Irene (Goering) Froman McDonnell. Little did I know that this trip from Salt Lake City to Seattle would be the last time I'd see both grandmothers. Grandma Myrtle died 28 September 1972, and Grandma Frances died 12 Jan 1974.

You can imagine this scanning project has meant an uptick in the use of Kleenix at our house. Nostalgia does seem to make one's "allergies" act up.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

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7 comments:

  1. So glad you captured the memories of that trip for your family and thought to share it with us too. Truly lovely and the essence of why we do it.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this Myrt!! What a great find that brought back so many memories. Grandmothers are wonderful people ... now I need a tissue!

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  3. Great photo and wonderful story. This four generation photo reminds me of one of me as a baby in 1965 which I blogged about at From Maine to Kentucky.

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  4. What a moving story of your grandma with Lou Gherig's disease holding her great-granddaughter . . . with your help. It's all about connections between the generations. We are all "those old people" . . . everyone swept along in the stream of time.

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  5. Such a sweet and tender memory of your dear grandmother. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  6. Thanks for sharing. Such a lovely memory! Regards, Marilyn

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  7. Not allergies! Onion-slicing ninjas! Gotta watch out for them.

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