Nixon's Memoirs: The last grandparent

Monday, August 09, 2004

The last grandparent

Elsie passed away last night, she was 83.

I knew her better as "Grandma", of course, and she was one fantastic woman.

In 1948, my mother was 3 years old, and her parents were driving her when a drunk crossed over the center line, throwing my mom clear of the car, breaking her father's legs, and killing her mother.

My grandfather, 39 at the time, was rushed to the hospital, along with my mother, and were well attended to and nursed back to health by a pretty young 26-year-old German nurse by the name of Elsie Suderman.

Florence Nightengale anyone?

My grandfather married that gal, and went on to have four children with her, and she was mother to my mother as well.

As well as the only maternal grandmother I ever knew.

She was generous, sharp as a tack, super-friendly, a good Christian woman. She also loved trying new things. I remember in the 80's driving down the road with Elsie singing "Sunglasses at Night" together. That was pretty cool for a grandma. She also let me drive her car once, and we had a wreck, which she never told my mom about. She also expressed worry for my health up until our last conversation a few days ago.

Her husband passed in 1983, my grandfather. My father's father passed in the mid 80's, my step-father's father passed in 1989, the day of my High School graduation. My father's mother passed in 1991, and my step-father's mother passed two years ago. So, goodbye Elsie, the last grandparent, you will be missed, and heaven has a fine new resident.

Say hello to all the 'grands'.

And still I smile, and sing, for I am happy.


At 2:06 PM, Blogger James said...


Great post. I lost my last grandparent in 1992, just a few months before the birth of my first kids. Of course, my parents are getting to the age where I've started to have to face their mortality. Mama is 74 and Daddy is 72. Make the memories good, for someday it's all we'll have left.

Take care, brother,

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Middle_America said...

Nice post. Unfortunately both my grandparents (both sides) passed away before I met my wife.

I had the pleasure of meeting both of hers, prior of their passing. Smile buddy, your right, heaven has a new resident.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Nikki said...

So so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. You are right though. Heaven has a new resident. She's up there with your grandfather now.

I'm lucky enough to still have both of my mothers parents alive and my fathers mom as well. But, I lost both great-grandmothers last year. It was a very sad year for our family.

My thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Colleen said...

((((HUGS)))) Sorry for the loss, but great attitude! My husband has said when he goes, he doesn't want me to have a 'funeral' but to throw a party!


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