26 December 2009

it is my new year's resolution to visit my grandparents more often. it is in such a spirit that i have collected the names of my great-grandmothers and their sisters: Amelia, (Magda)Lena, Cecilia, Marie, Maria, Hannah, Inge, Hella and Elisabeth. my grandmothers know lots of stories. i must do better absorbing them into my long term memory as well.


Soren Lorensen said...

those are fantastic names

this seems promising

my Grandmother is one of my best friends

wrenna said...

i am meeting my omi for coffee next week. she said, bring a pen, and she will tell stories.

Hannah and Maria were born after their father married the best friend of the mother of their four step-siblings after her death. Hannah died of breast cancer and the step-brothers died during world war ii. she never had any children and her husband died after only a decade or so. Maria is my grandfather's mother. she once accidentally set fire to the basement of a house where they were living. her husband was a postman, then owned a sports store. at an exhibition of which said sports store was a part my grandmother met my grandfather. Maria had thrown out a letter offering a job to him in Kenya, so he took one in Montreal, where they married, instead.

Elisabeth was a fashion model in Weimar Berlin. she could be moody and dramatic, had very nice things and dressed her grandchildren well. if my omi's gestures are a little marlene deitrich, they probably come from her. she preserved albums of photos and lived with her blonde twin children with a priest in the country during the war. shortly after her husband was drafted and boarded a train bound for russia (relatively late in the war, he was asthmatic), the station was bombed. he didn't know whether they had made it home safely. he survived being a pow. i don't quite believe this story, but i know he didn't talk for something like a year after he got home.

Amelia was possibly Czech (boarders moved). there were glassblowers in her family (like in oscar and lucinda) and it is from her that we get the poppy seeds. she moved to the southern us when the end of slavery meant that there was land available there, and then to Canada, when cheap land became available there. Lena, Cecilia and Marie were Alsatian. Cecilia, my grandmother's mother, died in Alberta of something that would be treatable with antibiotics today.

lots of stories. i hope they don't mind me telling them.

Mad Bird said...

So pretty!

Grandmothers are amazing things. I wish I had them.

But I tend to adopt my friends' grandmothers, so it's okay. :) I have... about 3 grandmothers and 2 grandfathers that I've "adopted." I swear grandparents have this sixth sense that just KNOWS when there's a kid without any grandparents. I swear it, they just know!

wrenna said...

that is very lucky for you. i think it might help that you are a charming person.

Mad Bird said...

You're sweet.

I don't think of myself as charming, but thank you.