Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Grandmother I Never Knew

It's almost tomorrow but I didn't want today to pass without commemorating the birth of my grandmother, Beulah Mae Gerner Doyle, on this day in 1888.

I never knew my grandmother. She died at the age of 23, a few weeks after giving birth to my father and his twin sister. Had she lived to old age I'm certain that our lives would have intertwined, even if only through letters and occasional visits.

I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have grown up knowing two grandmothers. I wish I knew what Beulah's personality was like. Was she cheerful? Did she have a sense of humor? Was she very serious? All I really know of her personality I learned from her younger sister, Brendice. Aunt Brendice said that Beulah was a "little on the quiet side but friendly." She said Beulah liked people but not confusion or fussing. She also said, "As I remember Beulah she was very reserved and I guess I don't remember her so much because she was my friend and didn't boss me around. I shed bitter tears when she left home." (Brendice said the sisters who were older than both her and Beulah were very bossy.) Brendice was 16 when Beulah left home and married in December, 1911.

Happy Birthday, Gramma Beulah.


  1. Oh, so very sad that she died at such a young age, and leaving two little babies behind. How tragic!

    1. Jana, it's even sadder. My father's twin sister died 3 days after the twins were born. It was hinted that my grandmother was over-wrought at her baby's death and went out too early for too long in the early March winter, which brought about her own death. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  2. How sad, Nancy. Your grandfather must have been very distraught - losing a child and then his wife.

    I wish you had been able to know both your grandmothers,also. Until this post, I don't think I realized how fortunate I was to have both of mine while I was growing up.


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