This post is for me... just to put my thoughts down.
The past couple of days I've been quiet and my thoughts have wandered... This time to my Grandpa Swain. Grandpa was born George William Perry Swain on 18 February 1881. He went by Perry, but his mail was addressed to G.W. Swain.
I am into genealogy and I have tried to document Grandpa as much as I can. In one census I had a hard time finding him. The transcriber for the index had misread the initials G. W. to something else that I can't remember now. In a census or two before he married Grandma I cannot find him. He was mostly raised by his Aunt Georgia Ann Paul and she too is missing in the censuses in some years. I often wonder if the census taker just did not find them home or they had traveled to Florida or another state.
Grandpa's mother, Martha Jane Womble Swain, is said to have gone crazy and threw Grandpa in the river when he was small. I cannot find what happened to her. There is no obituary, grave or bible record of her that I can find after Grandpa's birth. My cousin checked the area mental hospitals and she was not there either.
Grandpa and Grandma married 15 February 1906. Grandma was born Annie Hogan on 06 December 1888.
The latter photo is how I remember my grandparents... yes, Grandpa in his stocking feet. Grandpa was about 6 feet tall and Grandma about 5 feet tall.
They had eleven children together and all but one made it to adulthood.
In August of 1961 Grandpa had had several small strokes and a deadly stroke was soon to follow. It was a hot day, 27 August 1961 and there was no air conditioning in their small home in Rebecca Georgia when the fatal stroke happened. So much of the family was gathered there. The moment he died all the clocks in the house were stopped and there was crying.... I was among those crying. I was ten years old when Grandpa passed away.
I can't remember now if it was the same day or the day before Grandpa passed. My sister and I were by Grandpa's bed with Mama. We talked with Grandpa. Grandpa told me and my sister how pretty we looked in the dresses that Mama had made us. We each got a hug and a kiss from Grandpa.
This is me in my school photo later in the year. I'm wearing the dress Mama made me. My sister's dress was the same but in a pink print. My hair wasn't that reddish and my teacher combed my hair back and not to the side like I normally combed it. School pictures meant you got a new comb which I usually lost within a few days.
I used to at least have one weird dream a year with my Grandpa in it. We were in an attic... one tall enough to walk upright in, which I know of no one in the family having such an attic. I am a little girl... maybe six or so. I'm playing with dolls all by myself. There is a very large trunk in the attic. It suddenly opens and there is Grandpa! I'm happy to see him. He closes the lid of the trunk and he cradles me in his arms. Then he sits upon the trunk and I sit in his lap and her starts reading a book to me. I have no idea what the book was about.
When I was in my mid twenties the dreams stopped. Now I only think of the dream sometimes... wondering if it had a meaning.
Grandpa had a dome-top steamer trunk. Mama has it now. The trunk in my dream was much larger.and did not have a dome-top. I do remember sitting in Grandpa's lap as child.. but I'm not sure he read to me.
Grandpa was a farmer, barber and cemetery groundskeeper... and probably wore a few other hats. The cemetery back then was mostly sand. Gopher tortoises dug many holes in the cemetery destroying graves. There were some old wooden markers that Grandpa and Daddy would go along and straighten. The wooden markers are gone now and a lot of the graves are lost to time.
When we would visit on a hot summers day we might get taken to the church's baptismal pool that was located in the woods... not far from the river. I remember doing this only once and it was so nice having Grandpa helping me out of the water.
When my mind wanders to Grandpa I often wonder why I can't remember more of him. There is a memory of him drinking his coffee from his saucer. The cup and saucer shook as he pour coffee into the saucer... sometimes clanking together. A memory of driving down Slappey Drive here in Albany. He never heard a road like that... one that produced a clacking sound when driven over. Slappey used to be a concrete road and the seams made the clacking sound when driven over... I've been on some interstates that sound a bit like it. Now the road is tarred and no sound of the clacking.
So I have put my thoughts down. They jump as my thought do all the time. Sometimes the thoughts get so jumbled :-)
I am not depressed or down... I am in a quiet place, a place of peace.
At Grandpa's funeral the preacher from our church sang How Great Thou Art. It was a song that I loved to hear when George Beverly Shea sang it when I was a child watching Billy Graham crusades on tv. Elvis sang this song well and so have many others.