Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 18, 2013

DAY: Where our past lives on

By Ray Day
Tribune columnist

— The years go by and the memories of a life long ago either stay within the hearts of those who were there, or are laid away to gather dust and eventually be forgotten.

For this writer and many others, we find that reliving those memories keeps us young and gives us a chance once in a while to go back and remember those things that were so precious to our parents, who passed those thoughts on to us to enlighten those who come later.

I remember Mother and all the little things she did in her everyday life as a wife, mother and friend to the rest of us in the family. I remember our cousin, Julia Marie, who was like an older sister. Our oldest brother, Ernest, always called her “Sis”, and the name still sits in my heart as she still is one great lady who loves all of us. I remember cousins Hallie, Esther and Pat, who were my age. Hallie and Esther have passed on but their memories are with me always.

As time goes by, we lose the companionship of those brothers and sisters, cousins and their parents, but we don’t lose the memories. Both of my grandmothers lived into their 90s and, Lord, love them, they were precious to all of us.

Mom’s mother was one who said her piece and then backed it up, while Dad’s mother was a quiet lady who didn’t say much. You didn’t want to get her upset, though, because that little white-haired lady could put you in your place.

People back before me were ones who tried to get along with everyone. They believed in trust among all, and handshakes and their word were like gold.

I never had the chance to know my grandfathers, as they both were called Home at an early age. My oldest siblings were able to know them, if only a short time.

Grandmother Sapp moved to the state of Washington, where she raised chickens. She was remarried to a new husband who worked in another town, so they saw each other only on weekends. There was a time when Grandmother was doing some trimming on her trees there at home, and she was knocked to the ground by a falling limb. She was there for a couple of days until husband John came home and found her.

The story is that she resumed her trimming the next day, and John just shook his head. She was one strong lady, both in mind and in might.

Grandmother came home to live here in Kokomo with Cousin Marie, who took care of her until the last closings of her eyes.

With Grandmother Day, she remarried and buried two more husbands and the last one having the last name of Little, we called her Grandmother Little. She was about as sweet as they come, but her sting was with power if she saw something wrong.

One of the things I remember about her was that while fixing potatoes, she would sprinkle salt on a piece of potato, and eat it a little at a time. So one day, we were asking when supper was going to be, and she said, it will be a little while, so take a cold potato and wait. I will never forget her saying that because every once in a while, while fixing a meal, I will take a sliver of a potato and munch on it.

Our grandmothers were great ladies and loved by all the family. And so as I close for today, I look forward to some of you letting me know some favorite memories about your family, your likes or dislikes, and I will continue to tell you about mine.

Like I say, the past is gone but the memories live on in my mind.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.