Remembering Granny B.
Wow! Where does one start remembering someone is now a probably a saint! Born in 1900, this beloved woman changed the lives of hundreds! Born in the horse and buggy days living into the space age. She transitioned from the farm to the jet life. She has many heirs who will remember her in their heart as long as they are alive, but like so many, she will soon be forgotten when those lives are over. Also, there are so many heirs from new generations who did not have the pleasure of knowing her personally. A young farm girl, named Edna Pearl, raised in rural Kentucky. She was from a very poor family, but rich in love and spirit. A life of church, singing and family. Eloped at nineteen and married in Paris, (Tennessee) married a young farm boy, “RE” or “Roy”. He was from a farm family also. So began the farm life. They were so poor that Roy used to dress her in a mans clothes and have her work in the fields. That’s how she got the nickname, “Robert”, which stuck with her life long. During the depression with a growing family of one boy and six girls raising tabacco and farming was not providing enough, so she and Roy moved to Florida. In those days that was a long way from home and family. A new life in Florida brought lots and challenges and changes. There they built the family home place, which lasted for their life time. It was in a rural location and they built it from scratch. There they continued with their farm life style.
Granny B. became the family anchor hand washing clothes, working in the garden ( of course, wearing her jewelery in case company came), milking the cow, raising chickens, cooking and of course, baking homemade bread everyday on a wood cook stove. There was always a song in her heart and love for her children. Always encouraging them to learn, grow and love.
The years of World War II came along with changes and sadness. Her beloved only son, James, was fighter pilot and was shot down and killed in France, while she was working at the factory making the plane he was flying. It was a that time when she and Roy were living in N.Y. during the war. Returning to the family home in Florida to re-establish life, where her remaining girls were growing up and leaving home. There were lots of marriages, new sons-in-law and grandchildren. At that time, she and Roy had a second son, Charles. Over the years, she was always the family diplomat and the “rock” always seeing the family through hard times and at the same time living with a difficult husband. As they family continued to grow there were lots of new grandchildren and a son at home in college. That was when she earned her “honarary degree”! After over forty trying years she lost Roy and was now on the journey that changed the rest of her life. This was when she earned the title “Granny B”. A time filled with love for children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great-greats. A time of visiting, traveling, counseling and of course cooking. She always had one of her timeless sour cream cakes on hand for all unexpected visitors. Always caring for her “family”, was all she wanted to do! She always had a travel suitcase packed for any opportunity. From horse and buggy to jet plane adventures filled her remaining years. She maintained the family home place until in her ninties. She, then, spent her remaining time is assisted living making friends with “old people”. She lived each day to see and hear from her family of loving generations of children. She left us just shy of ninty-four, but don’ t believe for a minute that she missed any opportunity to enjoy life and family. This why I must write this to “REMEMBER GRANNY B”!! EDNA P. BILLINGTON, NOT FORGOTTEN