Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bio #3- Early Family Life 1909- 1918

Letty's mother, Annie Taylor Laws, about age 20
A year after Mom and Dad were married, they had a baby girl, and named her Edith Beatrice Georgia, after aunts and a friend. It was a big name for such a tiny baby, 3 pounds, and she had a big growth on her spine. Only the expert nursing by Grandma and the care of Dr. Boyd who delivered her, kept her alive the eleven weeks she lived. It was a blessing in a way, as she would have been a cripple. Her parents were heartbroken, as you can imagine. Edie had very dark hair, was very pretty, and I have the only picture of her dear soul in her coffin. Mr. Knott said it was the smallest coffin her had, as she only weighed 3 1/2 pounds dressed. He was the undertaker and a family friend.

They say time heals, and it does, and the following year, on May 20th my sister Norma Mary Lillian was born. She was a beautiful child, fair curly hair and brown eyes. She was a very happy child, but sorry to say Grandma spoiled her and it wasn't until I was four years old that this showed up so bad. I don't remember Grandma, but she died of a heart attack at my Mom's feet one morning at 6 a.m., when I was four. Mary was hard to manage for a long time and many a weep Mom had, over her lovely child. Dr. Boyd even spoiled her and called her "little Queen Mary." Of course I wasn't aware of this at the age of four. Good job, or I should have been jealous.
Mary (left) and Letty aged 2 and about 4 months
Two years after my sister Mary was born, Dad and Mom had a brand new house built. They had been living in a congested part of town and wanted to get on higher ground, and where there was lots of room for kids. So this house was built and finished just in time for me to be born in, on August 27th, 1913. Mom said it was the hottest day of the year, and again I was a girl, Florence Letitia. Grandma was mad as a hornet at a third girl, I guess she wanted a grandson so bad. She paid no attention to me till I was three weeks old. Also I was dark haired and not a "good looker," and I was what they called "delicate," and always sick. Dad was the best nurse I ever remember. I remember when I was about four of five, how often he stayed up all night with me, with a warm blanket around me, trying to get me to have hot lemonade, or hot milk. Poor Mom, I guess four kids tired her out, because two boys were born later. Gran, bless her, lived to see one grandson born before she died, and was very, very proud of this. And he was as healthy and handsome as a young Morgan colt. His name was Charles Vincent, and I adored him. We were the best of friends and I guess I was like a little mother to him. Even when he burned his little bum so bad (we had a training potty behind the big black kitchen stove,) it was me who told Mom to put a bandage on it. It was as big as a fifty-cent piece and he never even cried or said a word. He always was the silent type, even through his years in the (silent service) Royal Navy (6 years) and Royal Canadian Navy (24 years.) He married, retired on Vancouver Island, and raised Morgan horses, cats and two pigs.
The new house. The man is Letty's father, Walter. The child must be Mary.
Our last brother was born two months after Gran died, and he was the only one born in the hospital. He was named Edwin Oliver, after our old Doctor Boyd. He was a small boy with lovely fiar, curly hair and brown eyes, but a tiny little tyke. He was full of mischief and took the gold fish out of the bowl to talk to them. Of course they died.

This is the story of our family only. There is lots more to say about lots of other things. Some are funny and some are very sorrowful, but Mindy love, I hope you enjoy the reading just the same. If you have any sisters or brothers, let them read this too, dear. But the book belongs to you. Love, Grandma.
The Laws family, L to R, Annie, Letty, Charles, Mary, Edwin, and Walter, circa 1929
Mom's rejection by her Grandmother stung her whole life, as did her jealousy of her sister, although when Mary returned to Canada after her husband died, they made up and were good friends until her death.