Sunday, November 15, 2015

Memories of November 15, 1957

It doesn't seem possible that it was 58 years ago today that our family lost my grandmother, Katherine Ellen Roughan Scott.    I was in third grade that year and will always remember that day.   I had the privilege of living with her in Douglas.   She was quite a lady!!  It was because of her that I have such a love of reading.  I remember sitting on her lap while she read to me before I went to school.  

Grandma had diabetes and she loved sweets!   I remember that when my mom and Teresa would be gone, she would send me (and other cousins who spent a lot of time at 858) to the Superette Market a block from the house to get Heath Bars for her.  She would split one between us and then "swear us to secrecy" to not tell my mom and Teresa.  She kept her change purse in her corset!!!  I will always remember her taking it out to give us the money for the candy1

She loved to play Canasta and I think she may have cheated just a little bit! I remember being her partner quite often because I think she knew that she could get away with things with me.   

All of these memories come back from an eight year old's perspective, but they are vivid and wonderful memories.  

Just before she died, we took her to Phoenix to my Uncle Matt's house.  She had some doctor appointments, etc. and was going to stay with his family for awhile.   I remember her saying in the car as we left Douglas that she didn't want to go because she wanted to die at home.   There was no reason to think at that time that she was going to die.   

November 15th was a Friday.   Teresa, Judy, and I were at the Hubers that Friday evening.  My mom was playing bridge or doing something with the church so she wasn't with us.  I remember Teresa getting a call and I remember having the feeling that I knew it was bad news and that she had died in Phoenix.    I remember going to pick up my mom and Teresa having to tell her the news.

My mom and Teresa went to Phoenix immediately.   There was a funeral mass there before they brought her back to Douglas for the funeral there.  Judy and I stayed in Douglas.   Judy was just two and I know she doesn't have any memories of any of this.

In the old Irish tradition, her body was brought to the house for the rosary and the wake.   The living room was cleared out and her casket was put by the front windows.  I remember the funeral home bringing in so many flowers.  To this day, if I go to a florist shop or am around a lot of flowers, it brings back memories of that night at the house.

My Aunt Dot Park's birthday was November 15.   I always thought how hard that would have been to lose her mom on her birthday.    

My grandmother was my first loss as I was just a baby when my grandfather and great grandmother died.   I remember the feeling of loss and helplessness so well.  I loved her dearly and missed sitting on her lap and getting big hugs from her.

In December after my grandma died, my cousins' grandma (Grandma Park) died in Douglas.   She was the grandmother of Tom, Kathy, Jean, Jan, Ted and Ed.   Grandma and Grandpa Park lived a few blocks from our house.   Although they weren't my grandparents, I always called them that, especially Grandpa Park, as he lived several years longer and was around during my formative years.

Interestingly enough that same year, my third grade teacher, Sister Beatrice Ann, also died.   I loved Sister Beatrice.  She had also been my first grade teacher.   I think it happened in the spring time.  I know if was after my grandma's passing.   

Years later, I taught third grade for about 10 years.  My first year as a third grade teacher was a fluke as that is where there was an opening.   I loved teaching third grade and I wonder now if that was just a coincidence or part of something else!!!

My grandmother loved her grandchildren and was so proud of them.  She went to visit them as often as she could and we always seemed to have cousins at 858, especially our Phoenix cousins, Yaya, Pat, Marion, Cecilia and Teresa.

I have such wonderful memories of growing up and our extended Scott Family.  I love the fact that we are still so close all of these years later!

In the words of my favorite author:  "Those we love are never really gone as long as their stories are told....."

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