Today’s prompt for Day 19 of the Wego Health Activist Writer’s Challenge is, “5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why?”
The first 4 were easy to come up with. First, I would pick my grandmother, Gertrude. She died when I was about 6 years old and I don’t have too many memories of her because most of those 6 years, we didn’t live that close to her. I do know that she was diabetic and took insulin. What I remember most about going to her house was having raisin bread with icing on and bananas on the table that we weren’t allowed to touch – the bananas were for my grandfather. Back in those days, they didn’t type diabetics. I would like to ask her some questions about when she was diagnosed – how old was she and what was the onset like. I would like to share with her how far treatment for diabetes has come since she died.
My second guest would be my grandfather James (Gertrude’s husband). I was a little older when he died, but at 11, I still had a lot to learn about life. I think it would be nice to sit down and have a conversation with him as an adult.
My third guest would be my great-grandfather Martin (James’ father). Martin came here from Ireland. From the best that we can figure out, he was about 18 when he landed in the US in 1883. He didn’t speak English when he came here. We don’t know very much about what brought him here or even if he came here alone. It would be nice to ask him questions about his family and what brought him here. Martin died a year before my mother was born.
Guest number four would be my great-grandfather Joseph (Gertrude’s father). From what I can find on census information, Joseph was born in the US. I “think” from doing research, I figured out who whose parents were. I am hoping to be able to confirm that. I would also like to talk to him about family.
Since I only have one more seat left at the table, I had to think about who that final guest would be. It would be kind of rude to have my mother’s parents and grandfathers and not invite her. On the other hand, I get to see her whenever I want but I am sure she would like to see her parents. I also thought about the doctor that did the surgery on my foot. I have a lot of questions that I want answered, but I would probably get pretty ticked off at him and don’t want to ruin dinner. Should I invite one of my ancestors from Ireland?
I decided on my mother’s cousin, Sister Casimir. She is actually still alive and she would be a fun person to sit down and talk with about family history. Her mother was my grandfather James’ sister. Her mother died in 1927 before my mother was even born so although I don’t know how old she is, I do know she has to be older than my mother. After her mother died, her mother’s sister came to help take care of the kids and her father ended up marrying her aunt. They also had a couple kids.
According to her half-brother Thomas’ obituary, he must have been diabetic because they asked for money to be contributed to the American Diabetes Association. Were there other diabetics in her branch of the family? Does she remember her grandparents and have any stories to tell about them? Before Thomas died, he posted on a genealogy board naming all the kids. He didn’t name a Sister Casimir but did name a Nancy. There was no Nancy listed in his obituary but you were named there, so are you Nancy?
My dinner guests would help me learn more about my family history. I might even find out how many other diabetics were in my family.
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