Last fall, my Mom passed away after a long and full life. Dad had left us sixteen years earlier and she’d been alone and lonely ever since, no matter who or how many were with her or nearby.
Since then, I’ve been going through things left behind, sharing some, deciding what to save, what to pack away or even which to toss.
Yesterday, I found a stack of “memory books,” that are prepared during the time of a loved one’s funeral. One of them was for my father’s mother. As I looked through it, I found names of some that I remembered, some I did not, all gone now, and a few mementos that had been inserted for posterity (I suppose that’s me).
My grandmother was first generation Dutch. Her parents had immigrated from Holland in the mid-1800’s. The story that I’ve heard was that Great-Grandma had come at age fifteen to be married in Dolgeville, New York: ship to New York, canal boat to Albany (I think), train, and stagecoach – she thought she was going to uninhabited wilderness to live among Indians.
Grandma was one of five or six siblings, and somehow managed to meet my grandfather who lived approximately fifty miles away, in Oneida, New York, and they settled there on part of his family’s property.
It seems to be “fate,” or is it just coincidence, that I found her birth certificate yesterday, the day before her 114th birthday?
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