Lorene (Banet) Lee and Irene (Banet) Dreher
(1909-2005) and (1906-1989)
Everyone who saw the two women were astounded that they weren't twins. Granny (Irene) told me that they had always looked alike, even though Granny was 3 years older than Lorene. Why even their names made them sound like twins! Irene and Lorene! How cute was that!
The two women could work as hard as any man, relax when there was a spare moment, and get up and work some more. And that was all before breakfast!
Seriously, if most women said there was a job they'd leave for their husbands to do, Irene and Lorene went the extra mile to do it themselves! Hardy as mule, and about as stubborn as one as well!
Not particularly tall women, about 5'5" each, and weighing any where from 125 to 200 pounds, at any given time in their lives! Neither one was ever fat, but both got to be chunky a time or two. They didn't diet. They simply worked it off. A little hard work went a long ways for both of them.
Granny loved her flower gardens. And Aunt Lorene (my great-aunt) loved her vegetable garden. Both women quilted. And Granny crocheted like nobody I ever saw. Well, except her daughter, my Mom. They could both simply look at something crocheted, and toss it back at you and say, "I can make that with no problem!" Both could sew the same way. Never used a pattern for anything. Just imagined it in their heads, and suddenly there was the completed project!
Neither Granny or Aunt Lorene were overly demonstrative with hugs and kisses. Come to think of it, neither of my Grandmother's were. But my Grandpa, Granny's husband, now he enjoyed hugs and "smooches". (I grew up in a home where hugs and kisses were commonplace, so I always gravitated toward those who shared that!)
Granny might not have been a very big woman, but when she got mad? Oooooh boy! Look out! She was a woman who could slam the door on every cupboard in the house! And when she got done with that? Well, she'd start on the house doors! I once saw her walk through my huge kitchen just so she could slam the cupboard doors and both outside doors, one when she came in, and one when she went back out! And slamming doors wasn't all she was good at! She liked to stomp when she was mad! She'd sound like a great big man with work boots on sometimes!
My poor Mom did everything she could to make Granny proud of her. And Mom was so hurt, because Granny never told her, "I love you", or "Thank you", or "I'm proud of you". I don't know why. But I was taking care of Granny the day she passed away. And when the minister came in to visit with her, he asked her if she had any regrets. She said, "Yes, I do. When I die, will you let Lois know how proud of her I am?" And he promised to. But, he wasn't expecting Granny to pass so suddenly! Before he had time to get back home that day, Granny was gone. And I guess he forgot about his promise to her.
One day, several years later, Mom looked at me and tears welled in her eyes. She said, "You know, I don't know if my Mom really cared about me or not." At this point in my Mom's life, she'd had a brain aneurysm, and the repair had caused irreparable damage. On a good day, she was about like a 10 year old, on a bad day? More like a 2 year old! On this day, it was a good day. I took her hand in mine, and told her of Granny making the pastor promise to speak with her. She was upset, because he never had. And so I explained he probably forgot because Granny wasn't expected to go that day! But I had heard it. And so I gave her that little solace that I could.
So, why am I sharing this with you?
Too many people leave so much unsaid in this life. Never saying what they feel down deep inside. Words cause hurt. And hurt can sometimes never be released.
Granny is gone now. And Mom is gone. The two never really knew how the other felt about them. Don't leave it up to someone else to tell your daughter, or son, or brother, or sister, or Mom, or Dad, how you really feel about them! If you're proud, then say it to them! If you feel great love, or admiration, then let them know!
Life is too short to leave it up to someone else, or leave it till it's too late to say it!
I have no doubt Granny, and Aunt Lorene, and my precious Mom are celebrating this evening in Heaven. And that any doubts Mom had about her mother loving her are forgotten. And that's a wonderful thing. But just once, I wish she'd told Mom how she felt.
So speak up. Love your family now while you can. Life is simply too short, and then it's gone!
And Aunt Lorene, well, I just threw her in there today, cause I happen to like this photo of these two siblings! Weren't they pretty women? When I think of Granny, this is how I think of her. As I knew her in the 60's. The woman who didn't hug or squidge me. But she always had some cookies and milk on hand! And maybe that was her way of saying how she felt!
Have a fantabulous day everyone!