My cousin Susan was born in 1955 and the letter below, written by our grandmother Anna Delilah Webb Slater soon after the event, provides us a view into how the birth of their first (known) grandchild affected them.*
[Courtesy of Olive Slater-Kennedy]
My transcription (with some minor editing):
I love the thought of Harry dancing around the room!Thursday, 7:30 AM.Dear Kids (and kid): Greetings and Congratulations.I wish you could have seen Dad last night, I thot he was going to hit his head on the sky before he came down. You know how he dances around when he feels good and he said "Mother we've done it, we got a grandchild"!Pretty soon he came to the chair where I was reading put his hand on my shoulder and eyes shining said; "Now Grandmother, Don't get too tired, shall I get you a pillow?"He makes me think of when Alta Mae was born. Cecil said to granddad, "The way Harry looks at that baby you'd think it was the only one in the world." Well I guess to us she was, because she was ours and no one else had a right to her, just our ownspecial baby. And believe me the first one is just unbelievable, you wonder by what power you were granted such a darling.I wondered if she has red hair, Dad said, "I believe you would like her to have." I said "A red head girl is so pretty of complexion." He said is she is as pretty as her mother I'll be satisfied, he looked at me and grinned and said or grandmother either one I mean.Now as for brains she'll get it from her granddad. He always gets up early so gets breakfast. He work me this morning with a gentle shake (because I'm old now) "Come on grandmother I've let you sleep late this morning. Wouldn't you like to see the little Devil?"Well, to say we are glad it's over, I can't tell you how glad, and that both are fine, and the new Dad too, you need lots of credit too and we are so proud of you as a new papa, can you get in the hospital door without stooping? Bet your (head) like Dad's is brushing the cobwebs out of the sky.Do tell us, is she "dark, fair or --"Our snow is about gone as the ground was so warm bt it is clabbering [?] up again.Dad wants to try to tell you how glad he is so I'll say Love and God Bless youMotherDad just said; "Now mother if we hear from Alta Mae and Pete today our cup will be running over."
And here's a picture of the proud grandparents with their then 7-month-old granddaughter. I bet that handsome stone wall was built by Harry.
|["Harry + Anna + Susan - 25 Oct 1955." Courtesy of Olive Slater-Kennedy]|
*The postscript refers to my mother who had given birth to me almost eight years earlier. She and Pete never had any children and, as far as we know, she never told anyone that she had ever had a child.
© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.