Friday, January 22, 2010

Bertha Sanchez Dryg

As of this month, all my grandparents are dead. It's hard to believe that I'm not the third generation anymore in family photos. Jonathan and I are getting older and find ourselves one step closer to grandparenthood, which is pretty exciting to me. My father's mother, Bertha Dryg (Sanchez) passed away earlier this month. She was 98 years old and lived a very colorful and adventurous life. Despite the many years that I lived just a few blocks from her, I have very few memories of her. Sadly, I can sum them up on one hand.

1. When I was 5 or 6 years old my grandparents were taking care of me for an evening and they took me to the mall. As we walked past a toy store, there I saw her in the window. "Dream Dancer, she turns herself around!" was how the commercial song went. It turns out that I cried and whined for them to buy my this toy, and they actually gave in! I couldn't believe it. I never would have tried this method on my parents. That's why when my grandparents commented on my spoiled behavior to my parents, they were puzzled. That was the only time I remember my grandparents watching me.

2. My grandmother gave the biggest parties on Thanksgiving and Easter. These were almost the only times I mingled with my fathers side of the family.

3. She always wore earrings with a ball on them, or a big stone. Not dangly ones. And she has given me a few jewelry boxes over the years.

4. She told me a story once. Her mother was a midwife in Bolivia and sometimes she went with her to help out. After helping a woman give birth to a premature child, a very premature one, my grandmother was to run the child to the priest before it died. She said the baby was no bigger than a matchbox. She ran as fast as she could, checking every so often to see if it's heart was still beating. She made it to the priest's house and the child was blessed, but died minutes after. Years after hearing that story I learned that my grandmother gave birth to one of her children all alone on the floor of a small shop she ran. I'm sure what she learned from her mother helped her out in that situation.

I guess I can only think of four memories. The rest I know about my grandmother comes from stories or things I've heard about her from other family members. She did tell me what her favorite song was. "Wayward Wind" by Gogi Grant.

I wish I had a recent picture of her with me in Qatar so I could post it along with this, but I don't. Thankfully my sister in law, Tara, just posted one on her blog. She's great about pictures. There is this one picture that I saw of my grandparents when they were married and when I saw it I thought, "Wow! My grandmother was a beautiul woman!" Anyway, I am sorry I didn't make the trip to see her before she died.

1 comment:

Aimee said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Christine. I also lost my last remaining grandparent last November. I don't like how it feels. At least Dale still has his grandmother that we can visit.