Happy birthday, Grandma

My grandmother, Betty Lou Heintz, nee Brown, would have been 87 years old today. She died nearly 18 years ago, when she was only 69. I realize that in the larger scheme of human history, 69 has more often than not been an impressive age to which to live. I, at 44, would in many pre-modern cultures have been a great-grandmother, one of the elders of the community — or more likely dead.

But that’s the historian talking. To the granddaughter, 69 was far too young for my grandmother to have been taken from me. She meant more to me than words can say. I wish my daughters could have known her. That’s one of the terrible things about having children late in life: your children don’t get to know their great-grandparents. And in not knowing my Grandma Betty, my girls really did miss out on something special.

I’m crying as I write this. Nearly two decades later, I’m still crying. I miss her so.

Comments 3

  1. Martha Brozyna wrote:

    I’m so sorry for your pain. I know that saying your grandmother is now in a better place won’t completely get rid of your hurt, but perhaps it may make your heart feel a little less heavy.

    Posted 21 Nov 2008 at 3:12 pm
  2. Daani-Ruth wrote:

    This was a beautiful way to honor your grandmother.

    Because none of my children were able to meet their great grandparents, I followed in the footsteps of my Eastern European Jewish heritage & when choosing names for my children, each one of the three of them is named in part for one of their grandparents.

    This was my of staying connected to my family & honoring my beloved grandparents.

    Posted 24 Nov 2008 at 8:03 am
  3. Shannon wrote:

    I know what you are feeling. I miss my Grandma Ethel so very much. And the hardest part is knowing that my children are unable to be blessed by knowing her. I was in search for a book that I remembered having as a child. The God Golden Book. I kept from buying it because I knew I use to have it. Well, when I made it back to my parents house for a visit, I looked through my old boxes and found it. I opened up the cover and almost cried. I remembered the book..but didn’t remember that is was my grandma Ethel who gave it to me. So now I can at least have that and my many memories to pass to my children. And I now know why it was so special to me.

    Posted 30 Nov 2008 at 11:45 pm

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