Geraldine Martin Levy
What I remember about Mom.
First and foremost, books. My mom loved to read and she always had a book with her. I mean, ALWAYS. In fact, when she was admitted to the hospital a few days before she died, she took a book with her. I’m not sure how much of it she read during her stay but when we took her personal effects home, her book, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, was half read. But she’ll have it with her always as we placed it in her niche.
Mom loved to play solitaire. This was long before anyone had even thought about computers, iPhones, or apps. She played with a deck of cards at the kitchen table. And she knew a lot of cool games that I can’t remember now. I don’t know how many hours a day she played but my memory of coming home from school always included Mom sitting at the kitchen table playing cards. And bridge. She and Dad played in several different bridge groups and I can remember helping to get the house ready before it was their turn to host. Little silver dishes with nuts and chocolates were prepared and we always liked snitching a few as they were put out on the tables. After Dad died, Mom continued to play with different partners and her happiest days were those when she would join the group at the San Jose Country Club for a day of bridge.
Thursdays and Sundays were always golf days – Thursdays with the women’s group and Sundays with Dad and their friends. I remember when I went into labor with my first child on Thursday, Mom said she would come to the hospital after she finished her golf game. Good thing grandmas weren’t allowed in the delivery room because I think my mom was probably on the 16th tee when her first grandchild was born.
In 2012, Mom asked each of the kids and our spouses to join her on her annual trip to Kauai. I’m so glad we were all able to go as it turned out to be our last time together.
My maternal grandmother
Clara Maxine Fitzgerald Martin Hunter
My paternal grandmother
Mildred Loraine Gunzendorfer Levy
Sadly, the last time I saw Grandma was in the nursing home about 6 weeks before she died. While I planned to surprise her with a visit, it got out that we were in town and she knew we were coming. When we arrived she was sitting in her wheelchair by the front door, decked out in a fancy silk suit, red lipstick smeared on her face, but a big smile nevertheless. She loved the two little girls I brought with me, her only two great grandchildren at the time. They used to ask me why she didn’t know her own name because she always asked them “who am I?” so she could hear them shout out “Great Grandma Loraine”! She sure loved those girls and died with a picture of the two of them in her hands.
My maternal great grandmother
Mabel Viola McAboy Fitzgerald
There are so many other women whom I’ve gotten to know over the last few years but since I never knew them personally, I don’t have any direct memories of them. But I’m learning about them now – boy, am I learning!