I thought I’d kick off the week with something of my own. The first story I want to share is actually two stories of Thanks, Gifts, and Giving. I hope you enjoy.
Recently, I was gifted with some papers from my Grandmother, and namesake, Frances Roskopp. Handwritten notes about her life. I was very close with Gram Fran, my mother’s mother. As the youngest grandchild of the youngest daughter, a daughter who died at 26, my grandma and I had a special relationship. She passed in 1996 and I still miss her dearly. I believe these notes, scrawled in her familiar script, were late life ruminations that she hoped to pass on. She wanted her family to know what she had survived, endured, and overcome, including the death of both of her parents from the Spanish flu when she was a toddler. Only four scant notebook pages long, as I was reading, I yearned for more. Sadly, I don’t think think they will mean anything to future generations, but I value these pages and what they represent because I was lucky enough to have shared time with her.
On the last page of the notes, she wrote:
We lived about half mile from river – big sand bar (beach) there – my uncle (Herbert) was about 13 or 14 yr old – I was about two yrs old – he was supposed to be staying with my mother & me – he took me for a walk on the beach – made my foot prints in the sand – my mother was worried to death as she didn’t know where he had taken me – but he was real unconcerned when he returned with me as thought that was a real treat for me. Of course, I’ve been crazy for beaches ever since.
Maybe the love of beaches is genetic? Because I, too, love beaches.
And now I will always think of my Gram as I leave footprints in the damp sand.
One more gift to be thankful for.
Ohhh, Mary Fran, what a beautiful treasure to have. Her DNA is on that paper sending you her love. Her notes almost read like she was composing her own obituary? What a wonderful history! I feel a connection with her, as a 20yr Pediatric RN, from an entirely different era. We need a time machine! Thank you for sharing, Mary Fran. Blessings for the New Year on the way.❤️🙏🎉❤️
A very special message to share.
Mary, I loved this. I too am leaving some notes for posterity…who knows if anyone will be interested in what I write, but it helps me put things together in my mind. This week I’m writing about my childhood Christmases, which I remember so wonderfully. I was lucky, my family had not much money but lots of love and togetherness. I wish your grandmother had written more for you, but at least you have something!