Monday, October 6, 2008

Passing on our Wisdom


Since I am an "over fifty" person, I find the online journal Persimmon Tree filled with stories, essays and poems I relate to and I recommend that "under fifty" women and men read this ezine. In our youth-centered culture, much could be learned if the wisdom of mature individuals was respected and shared with those who could benefit from our struggles.

Page from old album: William Henry Robison, daughter Mildred, and Lula Jones Robison.

I've been fortunate in my life to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children, as a teacher and as a friend. In recent years I've come to know younger women who counsel with me on issues important to them. We learn from each other, and I imagine that to be the way of generations past, when grandmothers lived with their children's families.
I never knew my grandmothers. They died long before I was born.What I know about them, I heard about from others. My sister June told me how she liked to sit in the hammock of Mama's dress as it hung between her knees. Mama was my mother's mother, Lula Robison. June loved Mama. I envy her having known the woman whose name I carry. Mother named me Glenda Lou in memory of her mother. As a child I hated the name. My first grade teacher called me by both names: "Glenda Lou, please read."

I came home from school upset and complaining. "Mother, I hate Lou. I don't want her to call me that." No one at home ever used my second name.

It was many years later that I accepted the honor that accompanied the name. My brother Hal still calls me "Glenda Lou" at times. And my husband often shortens it to "Lou." It conjures up a picture of Mama, the woman Mother spoke of with nothing but love in every word. Just as I speak of Mother who learned her parenting skills from Mama and practiced them on all seven of us.

My grandmother was William's second marriage. He first married her sister Ada who died in childbirth when pregnant with their first child.

I wonder how Lula felt about William before he married her sister. Did she come to fall in love with him after he was widowed as she consoled him in his grief? His name was William Henry Robison. Her name was Malula Jones. Both lived in Decatur County Georgia before their marriage where William's father, John Monroe Robison was a well respected man in the community. John served in the Confederacy as a blacksmith.

What stories they could have told me. What stories I could have heard from my mother if I'd only asked more questions, listened to her history.

I plan to do more discovery of my Robison family in the coming months.
But I'll never know my grandmothers.

5 comments:

tipper said...

Loved this bittersweet post.

Glenda said...

Thanks, Tipper. You will not have these regrets for you mine the memories of your ancestors. I enjoy reading about the grannyisms and all the history of your family.

~Nina Anne Langdon~ said...

I do genealogy research in Decatur County should you like assistance. I enjoyed reading your posts. Thank you.

~Nina Anne Langdon~
IFindDeadPeopleGenealogy@yahoo.com

caroline said...

My grandfather was Coy Robison, son of John Monroe Robison. I am working on our family tree via Ancestry.com. I will be glad to send you a link if you send me your email address. I have the same photo of the family. My Mother was Mary Wilma Robison Ficken, daughter of Coy and Sarah Caroline Rogers Robison.

Caroline Ficken Knox
fickenknox@gmail.com

caroline said...

My grandfather was Coy Robison, son of John Monroe Robison. I am working on our family tree via Ancestry.com. I will be glad to send you a link if you send me your email address. I have the same photo of the family. My Mother was Mary Wilma Robison Ficken, daughter of Coy and Sarah Caroline Rogers Robison.

Caroline Ficken Knox
fickenknox@gmail.com