Saturday, 3 August 2013

Great Great Grandpa David Went To School In A Dog Cart

Great Great Grandpa David Went To School In A Dog Cart



I am so glad that we went to see Great Grandma yesterday.  Not only did seeing her reduce my worry it also satisfied Emily and Ruth that she was OK.   



Eric and I passed the 90 minute drive catching up on each others lives.  Thinking about it now I am surprised and a little worried that we can live within 10 minutes of each other, know each other well and yet know so little about each others daily lives. 

August is not the time people normally make resolutions and I am going to make one.  I will have coffee with each of my children at least once every three weeks.  I do not want to miss out on their adulthood by being consumed by my Grandchildren and my life.  I realize that this is an easy trap to fall into as a Grandparent.  I love my children and I believe that a mother I still have a great deal to offer them and for them to offer me.

Great Grandma was up and dressed when we arrived.  She had been going through some boxes that she was given from her older sister’s home.  There was one last box to go through so Emily, Ruth and I helped her with this.  Emily found a treasure in the form of an old note pad that I remember always sitting beside the old black dial phone at my Grandfather’s home. 



And at the bottom of the box she found two rolls of paper.  Well she sat down and would have spent the day drawing if it were not for going out to eat.  Ruth found a square paper weight that she was enthralled with.  While the girls and I were going through the box Mom took Eric into her bedroom and gave him two harmonicas, one for him and the other for his brother Alexander.  These harmonicas belonged to my Grandfather.  I have a very faint memory of camping at Chesley Lake and Grandpa David taking out a harmonica in the evening and playing.
A cabin at Chesley Lake Ontario CA not the one we stayed in but how I remember ours looking

Once we were all back in the living room again Grandma told Eric, Emily and Ruth a story about Grandpa David. 
Grandpa David
One day when Grandpa was a small boy he had a very difficult day.  One of those days where you cannot live in your skin and so everything and everyone irritates you.  Grandpa’s mother was worried and somewhat upset with him and they had words.  The next morning when she went to get Grandpa David out of bed (Grandma Audrey starts to cry here) he cannot move his body below the waist: infantile paralyzes.  (Grandma Audrey recovers and quickly moves to the point of the story) To get to school Grandpa David used a Dog Cart.  In the summer his cart had wheels and in the winter skis. Grandma Audrey knowing she has the girls interest describes what she knows of the carts and how how Grandpa David got around then.

Grandma Audrey went on to tell us how as a teenager Grandpa David went to live at Sick Children’s Hospital for a number of years.  That it at the hospital that he attended High School.  The treatment at that time for Infantile Paralyzes and Polio was too spent many hours a day in an iron lung.   

When Grandpa D. came out of hospital he walked with one cane and one crutch and this is how I remember my Grandfather.  A competent man who would not let a physical disability stop him from doing anything.  Grandma Audrey ended her story by telling us about how he drove car. 

Grandma Audrey as a little girl with her father Grandpa David
 
All of us were captivated by Grandma’s retelling of her father’s early life.  I cannot tell you how blessed we all are to have Great Grandma and that she is willing to bring to life her father, my Grandfather, Eric’s Great Grandfather and the girl’s Great Great Grandfather in her stories of him.  This is how we live forever.  We do it in the stories that generations to come will tell about us.  It is in how we will be remembered.



Grandma Snyder

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