Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Thoughts for Rosa Mae and Angela Katharina

Rosa Mae, my maternal grandmother, and Angela Katharina, the other Angie Garren (aka my mother-in-law), were both born on April 7th. My Granny was actually only a few years older than my mother-in-law. I'd tell you the decade in which they were born, but then I'd have to kill ya. . .oh, wait, I'm not a secret agent. I wouldn't have to kill ya, but my mother-in-law might choose to educate me regarding my skepticism about the afterlife and ghosts if I were to divulge the secret of her age! No one, except for her children, knew that woman's real age, and she liked it that way :)
Every April 7th, I think of both of these women. They both had their moments, if you must know. Well, heck, don't we all have our good points and bad points? I guess it's that the spread between their good points score and bad points score could seem so extreme at times. You know, each could give you a great big hug from the heart, and each could make you shake your head in frustration at their stubbornness. My favorite story about Granny is that she always made sure to fix a three-legged fried chicken for lunch when my sister, brother, and I were going to be there. Each of us kids would want a chicken leg, and it's not so easy to split two drumsticks between three kids. So, Granny either plucked two chickens or saved a drumstick from another meal for our lunches.
Granny, Rosa Mae, Grandma, Rosie. . . I heard her called all those names, and I often heard my Granddaddy tell me how much I looked like Rosie Mae when she was a little girl. Rosie and her green checked polyester pants paired with that gawwwwwwwd-awwwwwwful dark orange polyester shirt probably had just as much flair for fashion as I do, LOL. She could "clean up nice," but I don't think that was a priority for her :) Sometimes, I wish I could travel in a time machine and talk to her when she was the same age I am now. At 43, she had already raised her children and had a few grandchildren. When I was a kid the age of my two youngins', I thought she was "old" but she was barely in her fifties. Granddaddy being almost twenty years older than her aged her, and it was understandable since women in that era didn't dream of trying to make 40 the new 30.
On the other hand, the "other" Angie Garren was vain enough that she wouldn't have dreamed of revealing her age to anyone. She dyed her hair, pencilled in her eyebrows, sported bright lipstick, and carried off the look with no problem. Once again, I'd like to hop in that time machine and talk to her when she was my age. At 43, she had four children under the age of ten. I'm pretty sure she was a glamour girl before children, but I imagine being an "older" mom made her conscious of her age at a time when most moms of young children would've been quite a bit younger than she was.
Shoot, there isn't enough time in the day to tell you all about each of them. Talking about their age and how they carried it is only a shallow beginning, you know. Today I took James and Kate to put a carnation apiece on their Grandma Angie's grave. They read the names of their grandparents on the headstone. They looked at their Grandpa's marker that showed he'd served in the Army during World War II. James traced his fingers over the carved "Garren" above Angela Katharina and Luther Paul's names. Kate said she was glad we brought her Grandma some flowers. We talked about their Grandma and my Granny. They sang Happy Birthday to Rosie and Angie. It was a good afternoon.


Deb said...

Ang - they sound like two wonderful ladies.
You have some fabulous memories & it is great to be able to share those with the kids.

Personally I read blogs like this & wish they had been around years ago, so I could have documented all the tales of my Papa, as he told them to us.
As people get older they forget the stories of their childhood - or there is a subtle change in how those stories are retold.

I ask my Mum about things to do with her Dad (my Papa)& I know that she doesn't recall all of the details - & because I am not sure that I have them 100% correct, I hesitate to put them down in writing.

angelinabeadalina said...
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angelinabeadalina said...

Deb, put down what you do remember! Go ahead, and do it. It might be the only thing someone else in your family learns about him. You know, when we're young and get to hear those stories, we don't always realize their importance. I am guilty of not writing down more, always thinking I can just ask someone older than me...one of these days, our generation will be those "someone olders" and may not recall as many details as we can remember now.

Oh, you are so right about the subtle changes in stories, too. They get told, streamlined, tweaked, and told some more. It's not an intentional change (well, unless it hides a skeleton or two in the closet,LOL), it simply happens. Most of the stories still carry with them the essence of the personalities of the people involved. Wouldn't it be neat to follow one particular story through four or five generations and see how it evolved? See, right there. I don't think I have any stories that go back past four generations (and the ones involving my great-grandparents are mostly vague in my mind).

Write what you do remember of those stories about your Papa, Deb.

Laurie Green-Whitney - Mermaid Glass said...

It's wonderful that you take the time to visit their graves and remember. Lots of people don't really do that anymore.

I think it brings the memories back more easily and maybe helps you think of things you hadn't in years. Then you share those memories with your kids and bring those women back to life for another generation. That's a tribute.

rosebud101 said...

What great stories! I think I would have really liked your granny Ang Garren! She sounds like so much fun! You are truly enriching the lives of your children with your memories.