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Written by Jeanie
I remember the dollhouse. I would run into Inglenook and about 30 seconds after giving my hello kisses to Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma, I would run upstairs and just look at and admire the doll house. I remember imagining growing up and living in a house just like that. I remember rearranging the furniture each time I went there so it looked just the way I liked it. I remember imagining that it was my house! My special imaginary play house.
I remember waiting for the snow in cold weather so we could go to Inglenook and sleigh ride down the hill in the schoolyard across the street. And I remember waiting for the warm weather so we could just roll down that same hill till we were so dizzy we could hardly stand up.
I remember Christmas morning, the year I graduated from Clinton Avenue Elementary School, and my Mom gave me Aunt Justine's Medal of Academic Excellence, which she had received when she was my age. I remember holding and kissing that medal many times for good luck, as I would say a quick prayer before tests and other things that made me anxious.
I remember wearing that same medal with pride as I showed it off to Sr. Leo Frances in Micro-biology at Molloy College (too bad it didn't help achieve any brownie points).
I remember too, the days Sr. Leo Frances would catch me in the halls to ask how Grandma was doing. I remember the day I had to tell her that Great-Grandma had been admitted to the hospital in respiratory distress and was on a respirator.
I remember how, even as sick as she was, how she smiled and thanked me for washing her hair...and how, she has never forgotten her "Nurse Jeanie."
And, I'll never forget how that taught me that it's the little things that make a big difference, a lesson I have taken with me throughout my career in nursing.
I remember my wedding day, and posing for pictures as Great-Grandma complained about her shoes. I was so proud and happy as the bride, to be able to stand at my reception with my Mother, Grandmother, and Great-grandmother at my side. It just made me laugh out loud that Great-Grandma was so worried about her shoes that she made sure the pictures covered them up. I still laugh when I look at the pictures, remembering the moment.
I remember the day of my baby shower, as Grandma, Des and I played Scrabble with Great-Grandma while Mom and Dad frantically set up the house. I remember sitting in bed that night just amazed that this child inside of me was going to be able to sit in the lap of her Great-Great-Grandmother, who was still able to beat me at Scrabble.
I remember the night Caitie was born and I called Great-Grandma to tell her the news and I could hear the excitement in her voice as if it were the first time she had received such a call, not the 83rd, (29 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren)
I remember the night we went to introduce Caitie to her Great-Great Grandmother. So special, nothing else can be said of it.
I remember when I learned of the Great White Book, a chronological scrapbook in which each of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren have a page.
I remember so many special moments in my life made even more special because I am blessed with the opportunity to share them with a family tree full of people kept flourishing by a wonderful woman, my Great-Grandma.
Aunt Justine and Grandma at IngleNook's
backdoor waiting to welcome visitors
-- 1978 --
Clockwise from left
Jerome (partial face),
-- c. 1940 --