"You may be a Taylor honey, but I see Goldsmith in you and there's no doubt you're a Goldsmith" she told her.
Later on, when my daughter came home, she beemed from ear to ear and told me what she said. I knew she would never forget that comment nor the sister of her great-grandfather that said it. Come to find out, the dreaded trip with her grandmother wasn't so bad after all. As a mother, I was just as proud as I could be for her to meet and get to know, if only for a moment, some of the roots of her family that she had never known.
A couple of weeks ago, Aunt Bee passed away at the vibrant age of 94. Instantly, I regretted not going up with my mother and daughter to visit when I had the opprotunity. I was quickly comforted by the fact that these two women had the chance to make the trip as I knew it was something my mother had wanted to do for quite some time. When I told Elise of the passing of her great aunt, she did feel a bit sadden by the death of a women she had grown fond of so quickly and easily. But she recalled how she still cherished the comment made during the course of the meeting.
Last month, I took my daughter with me to visit my mom in Oklahoma for her 65th birthday. During that visit, I wanted to stop in a check once more on my grandmother still getting by in the shell of a body she was trapped in at 93. Demitia is a very bad visitor that never leaves and haunts all who see its' mark.
She was so ahead of other women of her generation. She built and flew model airplanes and at one time, she was number one in the nation
Can you imagine? Her idols of the time were Charles Lindberg or Amelia Earhart...Folks we see on the History Channel all the time, was news that she ate up and looked forward to reading about for the very first time back then. Sometime later she learned to fly and wanted to become a commercial pilot. Story goes in the family, that due to her wearing 'glasses' she was declined. Let me remind you, it was as simply as "Women don't pilot" back then. Good ol' boys kinda thing.
So when WWII broke out, adventure was right around the corner right? Not exactly...the Army had no real use for women in their ranks back then, even as a WAAC or WASP...so when they wanted to send her to the same school twice in a row...she left...
It was getting late into her 20's when women her age were already married and had a couple of kids under her belt, but Barbara waited...by the time she met Jim, by those standards back then, she was 'long in the tooth' kinda thing...But marry Jim she did and they shared their lives together for 51 years...
My grandfather left one day after getting severely sick. He realized he didn't want his beloved taking care of him, with the new fangled oxygen tank and hose and weaker than he had ever been. So he walked out to the backyard (oxygen tank in tow---kinda funny if you think about it) and sat next to the big oak tree and raised a gun to his head...
My grandmother never understood why her best friend, lover, companion and husband left her, to this day she waters her eyes by the mere mention of the name "Jim". He broke her heart and never thought of that while he walked to the yard. Never thought of the first 3 month old granddaughter he could have easily fell in love with. He broke a lot of hearts that later summer day and he's missed every day, every hour from all his girls.
Now, Barbara has aged far more than we ever thought, a life that seems cruel to continue. Less than 100lbs and lying in a bed far more than the hours of the day are. She begs to die and leave this world just so she can see all those people she mentions at random...but most of all of course to see once again...her Jim.