Saturday, February 8, 2014

35 Years Ago...

Mom Friddle with my grandmother Capitola and son Claude!
You might say that my great grandmother, Sophie Dollar Friddle, is one of my favorite subjects.  Probably because I have always heard so many stories about her that made a definitely impression and also because I remember her.  I wish I could say that I remembered her well - but I remember her the way and eleven year old would...with fleeting images and memories.  I do remember well the day she died and following days afterwards.

I remember Mom telling all of us kids about Mom Friddle's death and as the youngest, I was sad - but I really didn't know what it meant or what was coming.  For my mother, I could see that this was a truly monumental event and I know from what she has told me over the years that Mom Friddle was one of the most important people in her life.  Mom grew up just a hundred or so feet from her house.  So, she was very much a part of Mom's daily life.  Even as an adult, they spent a lot of time talking and visiting on the phone.  Mom Friddle loved to call and find out what type of trouble that my brothers had gotten into that day.

On that day, 35 years ago, that we had a graveside service for Mom Friddle - everything was different to me.  It was the first time that I had saw a body and it didn't look like Mom Friddle to me.  She was still - I had never seen Mom Friddle not shaking her head constantly with her tic or with white hair.  It had been six months since I had seen her and she had been in a nursing home - and she didn't look like the grandmother I was used to.  At the graveside, everyone stood around solemnly and somehow I ended up near my uncle Claude.  When service started I took his hand...or maybe he took mine.  This was very unfamiliar to me and I was a bit nervous.  As the service progressed, Claude held my hand tighter and I looked up at him.  I saw tears creeping down his face and I think that I realized that Mom Friddle was much more than the old Grandma that I knew who told great stories - she was a beloved mother who left behind three children who despite the fact they were all over 50 were going to miss their mother dearly.

I know so much more about my great grandmother now than I did back then.  I've learned things from all of my family that knew her and have learned a few things on my own.  So, as I go down to the cemetery today and lay flowers at her stone - I will think of that day so long ago...but now I wish I had been a bit older and had talked to her more about her life.  She probably would have told me a few tall tales, but it would have been fun to hear them from her!

Here are a few blogs that I have written about Mom Friddle that you may enjoy!

Taken about 1920 - Left to right - Capitola, David Carl Friddle, Jack and Sophie Dollar Friddle