This story is about time.
In 1973, my dad’s mom, Martha(McKnight) Jameson died after 92 years of living. She was a quiet woman from upstate New York, short of stature, really, a plain woman of her times, who raised eight kids, all of whom but one lived to adulthood. Thankfully, when she left Athol, Massachusetts to come to Hartford, Connecticut to be with her husband, Arthur, she brought with her her family photos along with the eight kids, one dog, and household furniture. The McKnight family was left behind and she entered a new world, a city that teamed with life so different than the farm-country life she had shared for much of her child and early adult life.
I didn’t know her well. As a rug rat I was having far too much fun with my cousins to be concerned about a gray-haired lady who sat in a chair watching us day in and day out smiling and nodding her head. When, eventually, I became aware of her we talked, what about, I don’t recall, now, but she always had time for me. Later on I didn’t have time for her as I went directly into adolescence and that crazy period called puberty.
Then, she died.
In 1974, one year after I was discharge from the Navy, I went to visit my uncle who supported his mother from 1942 on and asked the questions that flooded my mind then. He took me up to the attic and there in great condition was my grandmother’s Hope chest. Inside, was her wedding dress, other paraphernalia, a box of photos and an old Bible that dated to 1861. I immediately picked up the Bible and turned to the center where I discovered six or seven Jameson names I’d never heard before. Curiosity sparked, the genealogy bug bit me and before I could stop it, I was led onto a road that really caught my interest and I vowed to learn something about my ancestors.
Forty-two years have come and gone, but not without discovering the rich history that peopled my family. As I have become older and believe it or not, wiser, I have really thought long and hard about my extended history and the realization of having come full circle in life. God has bless me in all my undertakings and on a road that has led me to comprehending the full measure of that journey. My grandmother loved me as my own mother as I will with my own grandchildren with a fourth on the way. Despite the pressures and stresses, the obstacles and emotions, the baggage we pick up and the failures we endure and no matter how heavy the cross I will always have hope and happiness exactly the same as the generations that came before me.
Autumn has picked up with its breezy winds and increasingly colder temperatures here in New England. The trees are beautiful with their colorful harvest, even as the leaves are picking up speed in its drop to the bare earth. As I enter my own Autumn, not of discontent, but fully knowing and aware of what lays ahead of me I will pass on what I’ve learned.
My grandmother was a wonderful human being with full knowledge of what occurred and what transpired. She brought up seven of those eight kids knowing full well what it was doing to her and why. She smiled and changed with the seasons and endured bravely often without merit and credit, being acknowledged finally from the mouth of a grandchild who knew her but briefly and yet now with so much more understanding.
(C) Copyright 2016, TJP. Authored Oct. 24, 2016.