Dear Joseph and Lucia,
When I was about 5 years old, Papa Gene’s mother came to live with us while we lived in England. Not long after that, my half-brother Gary also came to live with us. Because it was base housing, space was spare, so I slept on a cot in a room with Grandmother Randel. Every night when I laid down she would tell me about the sandman and gently touch my eyelids. It really felt like sand gently spread on my eyes and put me to sleep.
Geraldine (White) Randel was her name. She was born in 1911. Her life was full. She married Hirum (Hi) Randel and joined him travelling all over the Midwest in a flying circus.
There is a quilt on my bed at home in Richardson she made. Next time I’m there, I’ll add a picture to this post. I keep it folded and at hand for when I feel bad or lonely. As with Mama Mickey and Papa Gene, Grandmother Randel was a great influence on me in my youth. As a result, the traits and personality live on through both of you.
And to lighten the mood… when I lived in Peculiar, Missouri, Mama Mickey made Martin and me a great salad for dinner. When she shook the dressing, the lid was loose and came off. There was a quiet moment as we watched oil and vinegar drip off the ceiling. Then the laughter erupted… all three of us. When Papa Gene came home, he thought we were all nuts, but we just couldn’t quit laughing.
As always, I miss you two.
Update: Here is Grandmother Randel’s Quilt