Sunday, March 11, 2012

3/11/2012 My Heritage–My Maternal Grandmother

Jessie Jane (Burns) Whitehouse 1912-1982

My gramma was born the youngest of three children in 1912 in Illinois.  She lived in the Decatur area with her brother and sister, mom and dad on a farm.  When her mother died in 1923 she and her sister Fern (who was wheelchair bound) got sent to live at the Girl’s Welfare Home as her father did not think he was capable of raising two girls with no wife.  I know she lived there past when Fern passed away in 1925 of septicemia.  I know she was on the census as living there at 18.  At some point she married my grandfather and they lived in Louisville, KY.  They had 4 girls who all unfortunately spent time living away from home as well.  It seems to me that this was how things were dealt with in my family.  If you cannot handle it, just ship it off.  I don’t hold any fault on any of my relatives as I was not the one in the specific situations making these heartbreaking decisions.  My gramma and pop-pop split up when my mother was born in 1946.   Pop-pop moved out to California.  They never divorced and after my mother turned 18 my gramma moved to California and lived with my pop-pop until the day he died in 1975 of complications of emphysema I believe.  My mom, brother and I were living with them at that point, and we stayed in California for another year before all moving up to the Seattle area.  My mom, brother and I settled in Renton and my gramma went to live with my auntie Nano in Mukletio where they resided until my Auntie Nano sold her property and passed away in 1978.  Gramma then got an apartment around the corner from us in Renton.  it was amazing having her there all the time.  I can remember summers spent with her feeding the birds on the balcony, but chasing off the crows and pidgeons because she was only feeding the little chickadees.  my best friend and her family lived next door to gramma so she also spent a lot of time there.  we had tea parties where we were expected to actually use proper ettiquette while “dining”.  My gramma was a huge part of my world and when she died in 1982 it was the start of my mental downfall.  she died of complications of kidney failure.  I miss her to this day.  But I know she is in Heaven waiting for me and watching over me.  and now she is probably taking time to really tell my mom and dad everything she never told them while she was alive – this thought makes me smile.

well, happy Sunday to all,

peace and luv,


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