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balthazar

another of the Greatest Generation gone

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Hard day for me, today and yesterday. We laid my grandmother to rest this morning. I so treasure her spirit, her humor and her Old World work ethic, which I inherited and thank her for. Born in Jersey City NJ to recently-immigrated parents, she worked long days in the Black Dirt Region of Orange County NY as a young woman, out in the onion & celery fields, with my father by her side as a young child. Later, she was a long-time factory production worker for Avon. After retiring, she and my grandfather drove down to Florida every winter, fishing and meeting up with friends & relatives. She cooked & canned, she crafted, she golfed, she elevated cleaning to an Olympic event. From her I learned the sage adage: '$h!, or get off the pot'. Her eyes were a fathomless dark brown, almost black. She could be as tough as shoe leather, yet she was always welcoming & loving. I know she felt she lived a full life, and tho the end was hard & discouraging, her spirit remained strong.

Now all my thoughts go to my grandfather, alone for the first time after 67 years of marriage to 'his baby'. I pray he can keep his head up & his heart light. He has always meant the world to me, as one who values history & experience, I treasure the 'living bond' I see in him, thru my father and to me. His ordeal in caring for her largely by himself has ended. Now, I pray he can find contentment going forward, until which time his passing may be as graceful as possible (but if please be, God; not too soon).

I thank her for all she did to help make me... me.

I am diminished with her passing.

Never to be forgotten.

Rest In Peace, Blanche.

1919 - 2008

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Sorry for your loss, my condolences to you and your family.

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Balthy, your eloquence speaks. Peace. Edited by ocnblu
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Beautiful tribute, Balthazar.

My grandparents are all gone now, but I treasure the things they gave me which, as you said. make me... me.

More often now, I find myself quoting my father - he was also fond of the phrase " $h!, or get off the pot".

My best to you and yours.

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Great tribute, my condolences. Sadly, both pair of my grandparents passed 30 years ago or more, so I only knew one grandmother until I was 8 and my other grandparents until I was 6 and 7 (one grandfather died before I was born). They were tough, hardy, hardworking people from Appalachia (eastern Kentucky mountains). My father passed from cancer in '99 at age 78, my mom is still going, seemingly healthy as a horse, at 77 now..

Edited by moltar
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My condolences go out to you & yours... my fraternal grandmother was born in 1920.

The one tht died tragically last year. Ths awesome country of ours was/is the greatest

place on earth as a direct result of those hard working immigrants & first few

generations that made us the superpower we are.

And conversely the current crop of immigrants, is in many cases he polar opposite.

back the they worked in coal mines and fish canneries for low wages and yet still kept

their limitless enthusiasm for a prosperous future, proudly calling themselves

Americans and learning the language no matter how painful thir accent.

These days they (some, not all) come here only to at bitchy at us in the local coffee shop

when we get frustrated at their lack of effort and inability, & more so refusal to learn

the English language. And the USA is as a result on the decline.

Your grandmother, and all those like her, will always be a permanent brick in the very

exudation of this country's greatness! R.I.P.

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