22 October 2010

Happy birthday again Gram

This was my Grandmother, Guellma Gevene Flowers-Smith-Stewart and today would have been her 105th birthday. Of the many people who played a significant role in my life, none loom larger than Gevene. The older I get the more I see her in me. And the older I get too, the more I see just how great a thing that is. Gram died 14 years ago but I swear she's still around sometimes.

She loved life and embraced it, warts and all, with a passion and an energy that makes me marvel even now. In the photo above, she's playing with Sarah, her first great-grand daughter. Oh how she loved that baby. I remember when that photo was taken, I was standing right there. It really doesn't feel like it was very long ago, but I suppose it was. The baby in that photo now has a husband, a baby and another one on the way. Here she is.

This is Pauline, my great niece and Gevene's great-great grand daughter.

Pauline's going to grow up hearing stories about a great lady who was born in 1905 and I love that kind of continuity. I'm convinced that the dead live on when the living tell their stories and so long as I have breath in my body, Guellma Gevene Flowers-Smith-Stewart's going to be around for a very long time.


  1. Awww Paul. What a beautiful tribute to your Gram. Be still my heart. <3

  2. Thanks Michele. It's a tradition. I write a post like this every October 22nd.

  3. That brought a tear to my eye.

    I raise a glass to you, Gram!

  4. Thanks Raina, it wrecked me pretty unexpectedly when I was writing it.

  5. Really loved this post! I feel the same about my grandfather. He was the one that thaught me to see beauty all around me. And to see thru walls. See a home as it can be not as it is. Thank goodness for people like these that know how to love their families and teach the next generation.

  6. Thanks Sue. I'm fortunate and you're fortunate to have known our grandparents. These kinds of multi-generational bonds and connections are so important and our culture's diminished significantly because they're not given the priority they deserve.

  7. What a wonderful tribute to your beloved gram! My grandma (on my mom's side) was my favorite too and I hers (as I was her first grandchild). She passed away 30 years ago but I still think of her often.

    I recognize the familial similarities in the smiles in the pictures of your gram, you and your niece. Especially that twinkle in your eyes!

  8. Thanks Pam. I was Gevene's ninth grandkid but I never felt like a number. Generational connections are important things and our mobile culture pays a steep price for short changing them.


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