Monday, March 23, 2009

Conversations with Mimme

I went to visit my grandmother (my Mom's mom, whom I call Mimme) on Saturday. She turned 89 years old last week, and she lives in an assisted living home about 45 minutes from me. She lived in another state her entire life until just a few months ago, when my parents brought her here to Texas to be closer to them.

Her health has taken a turn for the worse lately (COPD, pneumonia, congestive heart failure), so I really want to make sure I take time to visit her. It's sad, but I feel like I don't know her very well. I am the youngest grandkid, so I probably didn't spend as much time with her as my siblings and cousins did growing up.

It was hard getting her to talk at first, but once she did, I loved to hear her stories. My mom was there, too, and she was able to fill in details as well. I learned that Mimme got married in 1937, when unemployment was still high from the Great Depression and life in America was just tough. I asked her if she and Granddaddy went on a honeymoon, and she laughed. She said that their "honeymoon" was a trip to Chicago--in a big truck full of furniture for a friend who was moving there. Once they got to Chicago, they stayed with the friend's aunt for a few days. As if that weren't romantic enough, it was also in the freezing cold of December!

My granddaddy took the work he could find and helped out on a rice farm for a year. In 1939, he started working at a gas station (which he would eventually run). Mimme said he worked 84 hours a week. WOW! That really puts things into perspective. He earned $10 a week.

I hope to have her tell me more stories each time I visit. I would love to hear more about how life was for her growing up. I think we have so much to learn from our elders.

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