Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Birthday - Grandma Cappy

Gwen & Capitola Shearer - about 1965 in Clarkston, WA near Wasems.
Today would have been my grandmother's birthday.  Ironically, it was also her first mother-in-law's birthday as well.  Sarah Kelley Tannahill was not one of her favorite people, so it was a bit funny that they had the same birthday.

I don't really remember celebrating her birthday much when she was alive.  For one thing...they lived in Elk City for a lot of my childhood and I was in school and unaware of such dates.  When she passed away in 1985, I was on the brink of adulthood and since she died on the day I went to college, I probably took her death a little harder.  As I got older, I appreciated the person that she was more and more.  Mom and I would often talk about her mother.  I also got a chance to read some of her diaries.  I read about the excitement of new grandchildren, the day to day details of her normal life and the heartbreak at the loss of her husband and later her father.  Through those diaries, Grandma became a real person to me.  Through those diaries, I got to know my grandmother as an adult.

In 2005, it was 20 years since she had passed.  Mom was particularly sentimental about her mother that year.  Perhaps she realized that we wouldn't have her much longer.  Mom asked me to put an artificial poinsettia on Grandma's grave in time for her birthday and Christmas.  I had no idea that I would be back there before the end of the year burying my mother after her death from lung cancer on December 26th.  That poinsettia was still there - there was comfort to me that my mother was with her momma again.

Today, both of their graves have poinsettia's on them - which is a flower that I associate with both of them.  They don't make me sad but they are instead a celebration these two women.  So...Grandma, Happy Birthday!

If you would like to read a bit more about my Grandma Cappy - Take a look at the blog I wrote last year for her 100th birthday!

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