Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandma Keener Feb 11, 1924

Edna Reba Keener 11 Feb 1924 - 17 Jan 1995
Her son Jerry Keener 14 Jul 1942 - 22 Mar1983
photo taken in late 1940s 
My Grandma Edna Keener was a strong woman. Her mother died when she was only 9, the oldest of 8 children. Having her own first child at 14, raising three sons along with the many siblings in the home - it must've been a very difficult life for her. As an adult, she worked in some kind of electrical assembly job for most of her life and took care of her husband who was almost 30 years her senior.

Grandma lived nearby when I was young, I recall sunny days on her back porch, in the garden, playing in the yard that seemed so enormous to me. Her kitchen was giant and it seemed she always had something cooking (we were probably there for meals most of the time). Her dining room walls were covered with collected plates and was rarely used, except to pass through to the front of the house. As a child I didn't notice, but whenever I smell old books, or a damp basement - you know that smell? I remember her home smelled just that way.
Edna Keener and her sister Virginia Anderson
photo taken in early 1980s

Grandma moved away when I was in my early teens and I only saw her once or twice when I was an adult,  Too bad that I didn't realize the things that were slipping away at the time - the things that now I would love to talk to her about, her memories, her family, her life.

I am told that I resemble her, tell stories the way she did, and often make facial expressions that were just like hers. Strange how you do those things when you really didn't "know" a person, or spend any time with them to pick up habits such as these.

The last time I saw her, she was on her deathbed. Only a few weeks before she passed away. Oh, the things I wish I had asked! Grandma died on January 17 1995. She was 70 years old. Today would be her 88th birthday.

Happy Birthday Grandma, you're always in my heart!