Friday, June 15, 2012

At Almost 97

I can't decide what is most to cherish: her lilting English voice, her ever cheerful disposition, or her incredible memory which puts mine to shame.  She claims she does not remember England which she left at age 4, but every so often such memories pop up.
I was thrilled to have cousin Dollie (really Doris Blanche, the latter after my mom,) and her son, Ed from Vancouver visit me last week from Vancouver.  Her outlook is fresh and contemporary. We discussed everything from her childhood memories growing up in Moosejaw, Sask. to working in the cannery as a teen in Vancouver, to women and powerlessness. "I never once saw my husband's paycheck" she comments. She feels deeply but never dwells on the death of an adult son and daughter from lung cancer.  We played a tape of WW1 songs and I sang along, her voice far clearer than mine. Here we are around my kitchen table.  Though Ed drinks only tea, Dollie loves to slup coffee with me and enjoys a glass of white wine before bed. When asked what she wanted to do while in California, she requested only  shrimp cocktail at Fisherman's Wharf and gambling at Crystal Bay. We spent a long while looking at photograph albums her son assembled of the family memories, among them photos and records about her grandparents. My g.grandfather William John was already deceased when I was young but  I can remember my great granny Emily from childhood because I loved to take naps with her and stroke her baby soft cheeks. This tiny little lady had 18 children, but only six lived to adulthood.
We talked nightly about the everything from my mother's eccentricities to the economy, health insurance, and mutual distaste of Republicans. She can hold her own in any discussion.  I look beseechingly at my little finger and bless that  somewhere I have a teeny dab of her genes.

1 comment:

Sandy Delehanty said...

How wonderful that this lovely lady is still up to traveling so far and still so sharp. So happy you got to visit.