Saturday, April 14, 2007

End of An Era

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Albert and Molly McGee had 7 children; two boys and five girls, to be exact. The first bunch were born in North Carolina, the second in Washington. The last of those seven children was Margaret, my grandmother.

Margaret's older sister, Elizabeth (Betty) married Bert Olding in August, 1931.

Last Wednesday Bert passed away, just short of 97 years old. And he was the last of that generation to go. My grandmother passed away in 2001, Betty passed away a few years later, and now, with Bert, all 7 McGee children and their spouses have gone on. The next generation - my mother's generation, is now at the top. Of course, I hardly remember most of my grandmother's siblings and in-laws- they all seemed so old when I was a young boy, and with all the time I spent in California, I missed most of their passing. But this one is significant, because it truly does mean a whole generation is lost; those family memories are now taken from us for good. Any connection to the McGee generation has been severed. So drift the sands of time.

My mother tells me she's actually the oldest surviving member of that line of family now - her older cousins have also died. I told her it's about time she took charge then. If she's the matriarch, we ought to use that to our advantage, no? Perhaps we deserve certain signs of respect - kissing the ring, bowing in our presence, that sort of thing. If we were a mafia family. . .watch out.

In seriousness, the funeral is next Tuesday in Tacoma, and I plan on being there. Last winter I was able to reconnect with the Whitmarsh side of the family at my uncle Bob's funeral. Now's a chance to reconnect with the other side, at another funeral. It will be good to see everybody, but sad that the former p/matriarchs will be unable to make it.

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