Gladys Luella Maxson was born in 1908.
She was born to Charles and Alice Maxson. Charles was a miner and a farmer.
Gladys was the eldest of four children.
She had just turned eleven her mother died of influenza. Her mother was 29 years old.
Gladys remembered that her mother was in bed with only a sheet covering her and the windows were thrown wide open.
Alice died on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918. There was a worldwide Spanish flu pandemic at the time.
The mortician came to the house. Gladys was made to carry out the embalming fluids in buckets.
Her brother, Albert, was only a baby when her mother died.
Gladys quit school to take care of the children.
She remembered that her teacher came to her house one day to find out why she wasn’t in school.
She recalled her teacher combing her hair because it was so tangled.
Albert became ill when he was a year old and died in Gladys’ arms.
Gladys came down with Scarlet fever when she was a young adult. She was bedridden for five years.
After five years she convinced her Dad to let her come home to the farm on a short visit because she was unhappy living in town with her aunt.
Every day she took a little walk down the lane and she began to regain her strength.
My grandmother was very dear to me.
She was a tiny woman under five feet tall. She always told me, “Good things come in small packages.”
She kept Bit-O-Honey candy in her kitchen drawer and cinnamon candies in the pantry.
She taught me how to knit.
She taught me how to make apple pie.
She had blue hair.
Grandpa called her “Glad” and would stop to buy bouquets of Gladiolas for her after church.
She hated her name.
The fact that she had only a sixth grade education and lived in poverty as a child made her a very proud woman.
She lived by a code which dictated what was proper and what was not.
Writing thank you notes was proper.
Poor table manners were not.
She died in 2000. I miss her gentle strength.