Esther Cannon Byers, 1907-2006
Got the news this morning that my grandmother had passed away. One of eleven children, she was born when Teddy Roosevelt was President. Raised on a farm in rural South Carolina, she was the kind of person who did whatever it took to get the job done--including killing a poisonous snake when her brother was at the other end of the field with the plow.
I remember her most of all for reading me Will You Come to my Party?...over and over again every time we would visit them. She must have gotten tired of it, but I never did. The story of the hapless squirrel trying to invite his friends to his party but getting turned down (they're all planning a surprise party for him and don't want to blow it) convulsed me with laughter every time she read it.
Well, I say most of all. Perhaps second most would be more accurate. She was famous throughout the family for the portion sizes of her (wonderful) desserts. If you asked for a small piece of cake, it would probably stick off the dessert plate all the way around!
And stubborn? Let's just say I come by it honestly. Once she made up her mind, no power of Heaven or Earth could change it.
The loss of my last surviving grandparent is a little tough to take. You can't exactly complain that a person who lives to be 98 was cheated, but it's another link to the past that's gone. Mama Bear, we'll miss you.