Today I want to talk about a couple of things my recently departed Grandmother passed on to me. She was a great story teller, and in fact, wrote a couple of stories herself.
Grandmother was the oldest of two children. Her father and brother died, in a meningitus epidedmic, when she was eight years old. She said her Papa went to sit with a man who was sick because nobody else would go. He got sick, as did the younger brother, both died.
She never said how old she was when her mother married again. She married a widower with several children. This was quite an adjustment for her, as she had been the much doted on surviving child. Papa Thompson introduced his children to his new wife. "This is your new momma, that is what you will call her." And that was the way it was. Grandmother, being spoiled, was given the option. She called him Mr. Thompson all of his life. She said he was a wonderful man and her one regret was that never once did she call him Papa.
My grandfathers family moved to Texas from Mississippi. He was one of 8 or 9 kids. Only one girl, the rest boys. His fathers name was George Washington Mears. He had a twin brother named Thomas Jefferson Mears. The twin had the same number of children except he had one boy the rest girls.
When my Grandparents married, he was a mail carrier, she a school teacher. They both quit their jobs, bought a farm, settled down. They had no money and had to borrow the money from the bank to make a crop and live. The entire note, interest included was $49.00. She raised a garden, worked the fields along side of him. They paid the note, $7.00 a month for 7 months.
During the depression my great grandmother Mears had a stroke. Papa Mears needed help. Granddaddy packed up the family and moved to west Texas, where Grandmother took care of not only her two children, but the in-laws and their 6 kids left at home. She said nobody ever knew it, but she hid the money for a bus for her and her children to go back home if she ever needed to. She hated living with the in-laws and being their slave. But, she said, it was a different time. A woman did what she was told.
Granddaddy died in 1957 doing what he loved to do. Watching a wrestling match. My sister and I were there and I can still hear her crying "dear God, have mercy". My Great grandmother sat rocking in her chair…. Saying comforting things to my sister and I.
On September 15, 2005 we laid our beloved Grandmother to rest. In her hands was a box of love letters that my grandfather had written her. She was three weeks shy of 103 years old. She was laid to rest by my Granddaddy. The headstone reads…………."Together forever".
I love you Grandmother.