This is week #3 of Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” blog prompt series.
This #52Ancestors topic was a difficult one for me. At first, I thought of the obvious: Who lived the longest? And while that does address the topic, it’s not exactly “stop-the-presses” material. But when I thought about my own research, I realized the answer to that question is the also the same person who was married the longest, and has lived in the same home for the longest period of time. And that is truly something.
Longevity – Life
My paternal grandmother just turned 95 years old a few months ago. Born in Yankton, South Dakota in 1922, she has seen a lot of life. She experienced historic events from the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and World War II to more recent events like the moon landing, the Kennedy Assassination, and 9/11. She saw the the Berlin wall go up … and subsequently come down.
Longevity – Marriage
My grandparents were married in 1944, while Grampa was in the service. When my grandfather passed away in 2011 they had been married 67 years. During that time they saw the birth of 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren (another one was just born a few months ago!). They saw sickness and health, good times and bad times, and throughout it all I am certain that they were just as in love at the end as they were in the beginning.
Longevity – Residence
Several years after my grandparents married and my grandfather was discharged from the service, they moved with 4 of their children to Oregon and bought a home. The house had been vacant for about a year and they paid $8,000 for it (the equivalent of around $75,000 today). When they moved in, the only furnishings they had were two dressers left behind from the previous owners and the beds they brought with them. They had to hook up the neighbor’s hose in order to have some running water (and then everything started leaking). Fortunately, my grandfather was a contractor with carpentry and masonry skills, so he was able to fix pretty much anything. My grandmother still lives in that home, 64 years later.
Here’s to hoping that stick-to-it-iveness is an inherited trait!