Title Pix. Four Generations.

You can’t see it in the picture, but we’re all looking at my newborn daughter more than 27 years ago. This picture of four generations was taken a few weeks after my mother and grandmother had returned from a fateful trip to China. Fateful because my legally blind grandmother tripped over a camera bag in Beijing and had to have hip surgery overseas. They were originally due back before my daughter was born, but the surgery lengthened the time of their trip.

My daughter was born October 27, 1982, and she was two weeks old when they finally landed in Sarasota. Their flight was coming in after 10 pm, but there was no way that grandchild was missing her first encounter with her grandmother and great grandmother. Sleep or no sleep, schedule or no schedule, she was going to that airport. As was I! Two weeks post Caesarean, this new mother wasn’t going to miss the encounter either.

My dad had arranged for my mother to call me from China once I was discharged from the hospital. Dad had told my mom that mother and daughter were ok, but she also knew my father was a great dissembler. She knew I couldn’t hide anything from her. We’re a lot alike in some ways. And very very different in others.

Anyway, once she talked to me she knew everything was ok. With Mom being gone, Dad had given us a baby present of a week-long live-in assistant. She was wonderful. The second week, my mother-in-law and father-in-law came down for a week. I was well-cared for.

Back to the picture. My mother, grandmother and me are all looking at my new-born daughter being held in my mother’s arms. She was crying. My daughter, that is! This picture was taken after my grandmother had recuperated from her injuries and there was a newspaper story about their trip, her injury, her care in China.

That was back in the day when most of China’s doors were mostly closed, and you rarely were able to travel except with vetted tour groups. And staying over due to her surgery was a major event that required the American consulate in Beijing to run interference. My grandmother stayed at an American hospital, staffed by trained-in-America Chinese doctors, so the care was extremely good.

My grandmother had rarely traveled in her younger years. When she retired from the Department of Treasury, she traveled with my mother to Israel, Hawaii and China. Even when legally blind with macular degeneration, she still traveled. She died in 1985, when my daughter was 3 years old, after a somewhat short battle with bone cancer. We believe that her fall in China “shocked” her system enough that the cancer genes awoke.

She was a great lady and I loved her very much. I think of her a lot and hope I’m as strong-willed and capable at 80 as she was. My mother is, so I hope I inherited some of those good genes. No dementia on that side of the family tree!


~ by Heather on June 27, 2010.

One Response to “Title Pix. Four Generations.”

  1. I cried, of course. Beautifully written. Love, Mom

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