During my research I’ve rummaged through old photographs. My mom and uncle have been great resources for this endeavor. I’ve been delighted with many of the discovered treasures and the one I share today is an example of that delight.
In this picture is my grandmother, Roxie PRATER Baker (before she was a Baker), and her uncle, Grover Gulledge. She has this look on her face like she could conquer the world. A pistol in one hand and a rabbit in the other implies she has brought home dinner. Uncle Grover appears to be tutoring her but she’s proudly posing for the camera. I love it!
You have to understand, it’s wonderful to see Grandma so young. She was always old when I knew her. I think back on it now and believe she looked older than she really was, but after giving birth to and raising thirteen children it isn’t hard to understand why. Before her death in 1979 she had both of her legs amputated, diabetes wreaked havoc on her body. She lived with us during that time.
The last year of her life I was in fourth grade. I missed a lot of school due to illness. I’d go and my teacher would have to call for someone to pick me up. Everyone thought I was faking but I was truly ill. Looking back I realize I was worried about Grandma and Mom to the point I made myself sick. When I was away from them I became nauseous. When I was with them I felt better.
Grandma passed away in August before I started fifth grade. At the beginning of the school year I again started feeling ill. After going home once or twice and realizing Mom was fine I felt relaxed enough to spend the day away from her.
I do have memories of my grandmother as a vibrant woman but her decline is more prevalent in my mind. That’s why I love this picture so much. It reminds me that she lived a good, happy life and those last few years were just a drop in the bucket.