I wanted my mother to live forever, I guess. Even though I knew that wasn’t realistic, I was hopeful that she’d live well into her nineties at least. After all, her grandmother lived to be 91 and great-grandfather lived to 92. Her Aunt Bertha lived to 96 and Aunt Vina to 94.
Those are all from the Tower line in our family. It’s pretty remarkable for people born in the 1800s to live that long. I was hoping that those Tower genes would carry Mom along into the nineties too.
We had worked together to complete the two books, Mom’s memoir and the collected stories about Dad’s life. I’d hoped the three works-in-progress gave her some incentive to hang around. I really needed her input on our Civil War ancestor’s book and on Aunt Bertha’s biography.
They say that having a passion for something contributes to longevity. Sadly, she did not regain her zest for writing and research and genealogy after Dad died. Her health issues and missing her spouse of 67 years dragged her down. She died of a broken hip followed by a heart attack at 88.
Now it is up to me to make those books happen. I worry that there will be gaps that I can’t fill without her knowledge of family history. I worry that I can’t tell the stories like she could.
Knowing that they won’t be perfect, I need to go forward with the projects. It is what she would want. Here’s hoping I live until 99 to complete all the family projects.