Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Grandma Hazel

"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones.  For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."  Matthew 18:10-11

I write a lot about my Nanna on here, but in truth, as a child I had two ladies vying for my undivided attention – My Nanna and my Grandma Hazel.

Grandma Hazel is my dad’s mom, and my dad was the baby of the family, so naturally I was a favorite among the grandchildren (if only in my mind). My dad was 17 and unmarried when I was born, so I was a scandal. My mom hadn’t come around Grandma Hazel’s house in a while, so when my dad told his mother that I was to be born, she said she’d suspected that something was up. It was a Saturday.

“When is she due?” she asked.


I was actually born on Tuesday late at night.

The following year my mom and dad had twin boys. They lived only a day or so each. The following summer another boy was born. He too died shortly after birth. My dad was 19 years old and had had four children and I was the lone survivor. If I’d have been a boy, I would have died too, I was told. My Grandma Hazel took pictures of my brothers and kept them in her dresser drawer for no one else to see.

A few years ago, the time came for Grandma Hazel to move to assisted living, and my dad asked me, “Is there anything in that house that you would want?”

“I want those pictures,” I said.

We spent an afternoon going through a four drawer chest full of a lifetime of family pictures. We collected stacks for respective grandchildren who were not present, and for those children of family members who’d passed away. I found a picture of my Grandma Hazel riding a horse. There was also a picture of my dad on a chuckwagon being pulled by a mule. I kept those two, as I’d never thought of either person as horse people.

Eventually I found my brothers. The twins, Darrell and Gerald, were depicted in their little blue and white caskets. My aunt had written on the back. One looked just like my boys did as infants with his big round head. The other looked more like my great-grandpa on my mom’s side. Then there was a picture of a nurse with a terrible look on her face, pushing a giant baby incubator from the time, and the back of a newborn baby. The pictures were all together, so I assumed him to be my other brother, Darrell.

No really.

Two of them were named Darrell!

“This is my brother, Darrell, and my other brother, Darrell.” – Quick! Name that show.

Anyway, I’m glad she took their pictures so that I could have them some 30 years later. Maybe I’ll recognize them in Heaven.

Grandma Hazel is now 85. My dad called this morning to say that she’d fallen this morning and broken her hip. Please pray for Grandma Hazel and the doctors attending to her. Although she will never regain her vitality and vigor that she had while chasing me around as a kid, she’ll always be a part of my fondest memories. More about her and Nanna jockeying for position for my attention later…

Have a great day!


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