And we’re back…
I want to take a moment to wish a Happy Heavenly Birthday to Kate “Grandma” Holton, who, if she were still alive, would be 118 today. She died too young at 92.
Grandma loved my Mom like a daughter, and Grandma loved her like a daughter. After Dad died in January 1967 (I know I’ve told this before, but it’s my blog and some of you haven’t heard this), Mom considered moving to California, and in fact the four of us took a trip out there that summer so Mom could interview and apply. In the end, though, we stayed in Chicago, ostensibly because she didn’t want to separate us from Grandma. We knew, though, that it was she that didn’t want to be separated from Grandma.
Later that summer, Mom, who had just learned to drive, took the three of us and Grandma to Ohio to visit my uncle Tom, Dad’s older brother, and his family. They had just moved to a farm, and they had a big house. Grandma sat in the front seat with Mom, and the three of us were in the back.
We were on the Indiana Toll Road (or maybe the Ohio Turnpike, I’m not sure), and Mom was feeling comfortable behind the wheel. Maybe a little too comfortable. At some point, Grandma looked over and said, “Bunny, I hate to sound like a mother-in-law, but don’t you think we’re going a little fast?” Mom looked at the speedometer, which told her we were going 90 miles an hour (that 144 kilometers an hour for metric folks).
Another time on the same trip, Mom decided to chat with Grandma. Grandma was just starting to lose her hearing at that time. Mom had a friend, Abby, who was going on a trip to Spain, so she said, “Abby’s going to Spain.”
“My God, Bunny, that’s terrible! Were there any indications?”
Mom was confused. “Indications of what?”
“That she was going insane!”
They always had a good laugh about that.
Grandma and her sister Florence lived together, and would come to our house for dinner every Sunday along with Mom’s aunt Cash. Tex, who was starting to spend a lot of time at our house, would pick them up and drive them out to the house, then later in the evening would drive them home, along with a lot of leftovers. Mom was worried about telling Grandma that she and Tex were getting married. She needn’t have: by then, Tex was a son, and when Patrick was born, Grandma was his grandmother.
Grandma’s birthday was Bastille Day, which is also today.
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