When I was in Florida after my mom passed away, I sorted through many of her belongings. She literally kept EVERYTHING! She kept every single little note that I wrote. Best of all, she has pictures and journals and letters from my grandpa to his parents. I finally had a chance to go through some of it today and sort it out. Including her and myself, I have about 6 generations of photos and information. I only brought back 2 small boxes, so there is a lot more to go through when I can get more back here. I have to try to figure out who a few people are going back a few generations. Of course, my mom would have the answers, and I so wish we had gone through this stuff together at some point. I don’t know why we never took the time. I intend to make sure to put this all into scrapbooks and label it for my daughter so she can keep it forever and hand it down to her children and grandchildren. As we were going through it today, I told her to make sure she gives it to her most responsible child someday to hang onto, and to keep passing it down.
The letters my grandpa wrote home to his parents are ordinary, but very humbling showing how much he cared about his parents. He was 22 years old. He was the oldest child and working away from home, with 6 younger siblings at home. In each letter he asked how everyone was doing every time. I was hoping to find a letter where he met my grandma, but didn’t find one yet. I did see a letter dated in 1934 on my birth date. I wonder if he could have possibly known I would come along on that date many years later? I had to laugh when his first son was born and he described in his letter to his mother that the doctor says he looks like him, but he looks just like every other baby he has ever seen. Ha ha!
There are also tons of pictures of my great-grandparents and the family. My grandpa was one of seven. Those pictures are a treasure. My great-grandma also has pictures of herself with her parents, so there are many I have to figure out. I gratefully have one picture of myself with my great-grandma. I was blessed to know her. She died when I was 8. She was 88 years old and she remembered me every time she saw me. With 7 children, who all had kids of their own, and they all had kids… she had many great-grandkids. There were a lot of names to remember. I was surprised she remembered me every time. She would say “you belong to Roy (my grandpa), you’re Betsy’s daughter”. I think there is a picture somewhere of all of us (4 generations).
In the box I brought home I also found tons of letters I wrote to my mom. I must have been constantly writing her letters. I would just write her a note from my room and give it to her. I wrote her tons of letters from college. I clearly really missed her when I was away at college. I know I did, I just didn’t realize I wrote her so many letters. I feel like such a schmuck because over the last few years I’ve gotten so busy with my life and my own child, I feel like she and I haven’t talked as much as we should have. She moved to Florida when my daughter was an infant, so we certainly haven’t seen each other as much as we should have. I can’t ever get that time back or even say I’m sorry. I miss her so much, I don’t know what to do. I know how much she loved me and I know she knows how much I love her, so I’m holding on to my good memories.