Learning from our grandmothers

July 19, 2009 at 9:10 pm Leave a comment

When was the last time you created history? Last month, a week ago? A year ago? Wrong on all counts.  We make history every day we live and so did our ancestors. Granted some days are more memorable than others, and sometimes we just want to forget.

We learn about who we are by exploring the history of our family. Storyteller Dan Yashinksy says in Suddenly There Were Footsteps that he is connected to his ancestors by stories his grandmother brought over from her native country.  He said that was almost all she brought with her.

Michelle of  Be Fresh Be Simple says in her Tribute to My Grandmother:  “My grandma didn’t speak of herself very often so there are a lot things I do not know.  But later in her life and even after her death I started getting to know this woman on a deeper level. ”       Read the rest here.

I have learned more about my paternal grandmother from stories that came out of my research into family history.  She died when I was twelve, and because they lived in the city and we were in the country, and they went to Florida every winter for several of my early years, I didn’t have as much time with her as I would have liked. This year has been one of discovery.

I asked a lot of questions about her. I asked my father, his sister and my mother. I learned how much I am like her, in my personality and some of my skills. Grandma Flora wasn’t a writer that I’m aware of, but  as a young woman, she worked in a special order department store where she would have honed her sewing skills and learned millinery— hat making.  While I’m not a hat maker and may never be, I see traits that connect us, her sensitivity and gentle nature and appreciation of beauty in her home and in her garden.

The discovery continues.


Entry filed under: writing family stories. Tags: .

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