I never met any of my four grandparents. They all died fairly young and my grandma Beatrice died the youngest. She died at the age of 38 from Breast Cancer. I have been thinking so much of her since this whole thing started…even when I was called back for my first biopsy. I have not been thinking of her in the way like “what if I die so young like she did” as I know of course that the medical field has grown leaps and bounds since Bea’s death in 1947, but more like I feel connected to her in a special way.
I have just been thinking about her a lot…wondering what must it have been like to have fallen terminally ill at the age of 35 with 3 small kids. I have been so curious that I had several email and phone conversations with my mom and my Aunt Paulette (my mom’s older sister). I loved the words my Aunt P shared as they just paint a colorful picture of a time and a woman I never knew:
She kept a kosher home and we were pretty orthodox in those days. On Friday for our shabbatdinner she would make a chicken fricassee for an appetizer for our dinner that I LOVED and wish I hadher recipe now. On Sunday Mom and Dad ate steak and the children lamb chops. That was fine with us.One night I had a nightmare and was crying uncontrollably and she held me and tried to sooth me,what seemed like the whole night. When Marlene had rheumatic fever and I had measles she kept us separated in different rooms and had lysol curtains in between the rooms. The house was quarantinedand no one was allowed in or out. The Doctor wanted to put your Mom in the hospital but she wouldnot hear of it. Her demeanor with us was gentle and I never remember her yelling or hitting us.