Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Memories of Grandma Brubaker

A few months ago I wrote about a few memories of Grandma Brubaker.  Well, I realized I really don’t know a great deal about Grandma’s personality.  So, I’m trying to collect and remember more about Ruth Harmon Brubaker—Grandma.

Grandma Brubaker died in 1970, when I was about ten years old.  So memories of her are not all that great.  My memories of her start and stop in a hospital.  Whenever we would visit, she was sick.
1969 we traveled to Idaho to the funeral of Uncle Bill Brown.  Grandma was in the hospital, possibly in a care facility.  When we went to visit her, we were not allowed to speak of the death of Bill Brown.  It may have been the visit in 1969, or it may have been another time: I remember visiting her, the family gathered around her hospital bed.  Dad is as close as he can get, so that he will hear and understand her mumbled conversation.  I am on the other side of the bed looking at this frail woman.  For some reason, I think my cousin Butch was in the room, standing behind Dad.  He started to make faces at me and I started to laugh.  It was not a nice ride back to Uncle Pat’s house when the visit ended.  I took the heat for that indiscretion.  How could I explain that Butch was making me laugh?  I couldn’t, so I was in trouble. 

A little more than a year later, we were traveling from Salt Lake to Caldwell, Idaho to her funeral.  And the memories are at an end.

I distantly remember her house.  I think we once visited there.  I remember the bathroom because there were no windows and no light switch.  To turn on the lights in the bathroom you had to walk to the center of the room, reach up, find the pull chain and turn on the lights.  That bathroom remains forever burned into my brain, like a traumatic life threatening disaster.
Imagine the difficulties of an undersized, most people say short, young man that has to pee.  He knows he can’t reach the pull chain in order to do his business in peace!  At a certain age, no boy should have to ask an older sister for help in using the bathroom.  Let your bladder burst or ask for help, these were the only two choices.  Pride went out the window when first one sister refused to help.  The other helped only when I started to cry in pain.

That bathroom and the trauma it created are both indelibly burned into my brain.

Unfortunately, I don’t much remember Grandma Brubaker.  I have stories from Dad, but otherwise I don’t know her.  If anyone would like to share some stories about Grandma Brubaker, I would really like to visit.  

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