Read (author of Story Power) Kate Farrell’s lovely Mother’s Day tribute to my grandmother on my father’s side.
Elizabeth and Louis Fischer, 1905
My grandmother, Elizabeth Fischer, pictured here in her wedding day portrait, 1905, was more than a nominal grandmother to my two siblings and me: She was our nurturer. My childhood family returned to her doorstep in Kewanee, Illinois, many times during our father’s frequent bouts of unemployment. With an overriding evenness and cheer, she did not judge our situation, no matter the small town gossip.
We were indebted to her and Grandfather for their unconditional love and financial support—our only safe haven was their home.
I wonder on her wedding day if she could have imagined the shocks she’d experience married into the Fischer family, their high-flying lifestyle of the 1910s, the sudden loss of wealth in the late ’20s, two world wars, and the Great Depression, the wayward fates of her three, college educated, handsome sons. Her inner spirit never faltered for long.
The last time I visited her, in an assisted care section of a Kewanee hospital, I heard she was called, “the angel,” the one who visited bedridden patients and helped to feed them.
As I walked out with her after our visit, I asked, “Grandmother, are you happy?” She thought for a moment and said, “I can’t say I’m happy, Catharine, but I’m joyful.”
Joy, the lasting quality of a loving heart.
Happy Mother’s Day, Grandmother, with all my heart.
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