Echoes of My Neighbourhood: Looking Back on My Dad’s family.


I knew there was a prompt I forgot about this week! How could I forget the wonderful Jacqueline’s Echoes of My Neighbourhood? So, I haven’t taken any recent pictures lately but I have some more pictures looking back to the past.  

 
This wonderful warm women was my Great Grandma Kendal. She lived in Church Bridge, Saskatchewan, where my Grandma grew up. I don’t remember exactly how old she was when she died but she was in her early to mid-nineties. I have longevity in my genes. I remember visiting my Great-Grandma’s house a couple of times as a child and teenager. When I was 5-years-old and My Great Grandpa Kendal was still around, my Great Grandma Molly sang to me How Much is That Doggy in the Window and gave me some fabric and buttons to sew little pillows with, for my Barbie dolls. 

When I was about thirteen-years-old, we visited Great Grandma (her name was Molly) again. One time on the visit when everyone else was gone she told me to come and sit with her. She told me when my Grandpa Willard Eifert married my Grandma, my Grandpa had a bit of an attitude. He thought my Grandma’s farm family was a bit beneath his own family who were all highly-educated pastors and nurses. She told me it took time for my Grandpa to get over this. She also told me my Great Grandpa Phillip Kendal had a dream about heaven shortly before he died; in his dream God showed him heaven and it was beautiful in a way he could barely describe. The last thing she told me was not to cry for her when she died because she would be in heaven and happy. I didn’t cry for her, I knew better when she passed away.

  
This is my other Great Grandma on my Dad’s side, her name was Ida and she was an interesting woman. She liked to dress well, and would save up for one expensive suit, rather than buy a few cheap suites. She married my Great-Grandpa Carl Eifert who came from around Leipzig, Germany when he was a little child. Carl became a Lutheran Pastor and Ida gave birth to many children, sons who also became Lutheran Pastors and daughters who married Lutheran Pastors or became Nurses. My parents helped Great Grandma Eifert out a great deal when she still lived in her house in my home city. Later, her children moved Ida to White Rock, BC, closer to her daughters,and we visited Great Grandma Eifert there when I was a young girl. I have a memory baking cookies with her when I was three or four-years-old too.

Ida lived a long life, into her nineties as well. In fact, she passed away when I was almos fourteen-years-old, in July. When she died my family viewed her body at the funeral home. It was disconcerting to see that our hands looked exactly alike. So, I know who I inherited my hands from.

  

Two-weeks later, after Ida’s death, her son, my Grandpa Willard Eifert passed away exactly on my Birthday. It was a terrible birthday spent at the funeral home, helping Grandma pick out caskets (etc.) My Grandpa Eifert was young when he died, seventy-three-years old. I miss him so much to this day. I think his funeral was the first funeral I openly cried at. 

I was close to my Grandpa. I often slept over at his and Grandma’s house in the city. I spent time out at their parsonage near Wataskiwen when my Grandpa was still a Pastor, before he retired. My Grandpa smoked a lot until he quit in his fifties but the damage had been done. On the Eifert’s side, we have bad lungs and my Grandpa had emphysema which resulted in him having an oxygen tank eventually. When he died it was due to his smoking. His heart had been beating at a runner’s pace for twenty-years and it finally gave out. It still makes me sad because you never think the last time you see someone alive, is the last time you’ll see them. Last time I saw Grandpa he was in hospital and he said he wasn’t doing to well. We didn’t stay long.

What I remember with my Grandpa the most is all the time we spent playing chess and cribbage. I learned cribbage when I was seven-years-old and only beat my Grandpa three times at Chess ever. Twice he was tired so I don’t count those times. We played Yahtzee and Uno and deciphered cryptograms and crossword puzzles. In the mornings when I was over, I would wake up early and help Grandpa make breakfast. At the parsonage, there was tractor rides and VBS to go to at Grandpa’s Church in the summer. When Grandpa died my Godfather told me the greatest gift I could have received was my Gandpa going to heaven on my Birthday because he was no longer in pain and with his Lord.

My Grandma also pictured here, is a special lady. She is about eight-six and slowing down but doing well. I played games with her when I was younger. We also did all these fun crafts such as making our own Christmas ornaments. I helped her bake items such as Apple stroudal and homemade donuts. She was in her house until recently and is in a seniors place now. She is a kind person who loves to talk and be social. She was a great Pastor’s wife and is involved in Church to a great degree still. I need to visit her soon, she came back from a vacation seeing her sister with my Dad. Having an adult relationship with my Grandma is different from having a relationship as a kid. I wish my Grandpa hadn’t smoked so he could be here too, and I could have an adult relationship with both my Grandparents. 

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