This I Believe

Nora - Union City, Michigan
Entered on April 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

“I walked into my Grandmother’s house; the same house she had owned and lived in for 60 years. The house she had raised her two children in, the house where she had married and lost two husbands. Walking into her house was like entering a time capsule. Hoards of houseplants strangled the Encyclopedia Britannicas that lie dust covered on her shelves. I tried to picture the house with no television or wood paneling. The house smelling of new linoleum and the Chattanooga Choo-Choo blaring from the radio…”

I interviewed my grandmother and transcribed her memories onto my paper. I found out about her childhood, her trips to New York in their 1922 Buick Grand Touring car, her trip on the train to California to visit my grandfather during WWII, and what people did before there were televisions, videogames, and even radios.

Life was so different before all of our modern conveniences, but I fear that most children today don’t even know what a record player is or how to use a dial telephone, and who will teach them? I want them to learn about the past, what there grandparents and great-grantparents did on a Saturday night when they were teenagers. How much a bottle of coke cost or a trip to the movies. Where were they when President Kennedy was shot. The past seems to recent to some, but far away to those of us who didn’t experience it.

I was so inspired by my grandmother and the long and adventorous life that she had led that I decided to write an essay dedicated to her life. My grandmother is my role model, even at 88 years of age. She is still a strong and independent woman. My grandmother has lived through the depression, World War II, the turbulent 1960’s, and the recession of the 1980’s. She has lived alone since my grandfather’s death in 1956 and has supported her two children. She even owns three houses, which she currently rents out. She did not have life handed to her on a silver spoon, yet she was able to live a full life and properly raise her two children.

But who will remember my Grandmother 100 years from now? I have learned that the art and literature that we create are our legacies to other generations. We will be forgotten, most of us, but what we write will be alive somewhere. I want to keep the memory of my grandmother alive through my account of her life. With my writing I will share her legacy with others.