My job as the Good News Girl at The Post-Star often includes interviewing men and women who have reached an advanced age, some who have lived for an entire century, who impart their years of wisdom and advice and often capture my heart and admiration.
I recently watched Anna Brummer celebrate her 105th birthday at Fort Hudson Nursing Center. Anna is one of the country’s longest-living amateur radio operators. I laughed as I watched her sip a glass of scotch, which was the only thing she wanted for her birthday.
I was nearly in tears when 104-year-old Lila Walter stood up from her wheel chair and walked into the arms of her daughter. Lila was a real estate agent who was instrumental in bringing the first telephone service to rural Thurman.
I was fascinated by 107-year-old Vivian Prindl, who never learned to drive and was forced to walk everywhere, which, she said, kept her in good shape. She passed away shortly after I wrote that story. I’m so glad I got to spend that time with her.
As I watched my own grandmother’s health decline over the past year, I kept saying, “I really need to write Gram’s story.” I had planned to sit down with her and ask her what her first job was, how much she got paid, the price of gas when she got her license.
But I never did.
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Instead, I spent Tuesday night writing her obituary, which was printed in The Post-Star yesterday.
Joyce Molinero was the matriarch of our family. She was a quiet, but ever-present force in our lives. She held our family together.
I don’t have one single memory from my childhood that didn’t involve my grandmother. We went on vacations. She was at every dance recital, my graduation from high school and college, both my weddings. I spent every summer of my life swimming in her pool. I spent 42 Christmas Eves at her house opening presents.
But I never asked her the questions I should have asked. And I never wrote her story. And for that, I will always be sorry.
So don’t wait. Get to know your grandparents. Ask them all the questions. And write their stories.