Polly Dudley Merriam/Winans/Beischer

She was a strong woman. The strongest I know, in fact. My heart is saddened that the last ten years of her life, I saw her maybe once a year. But she was my Grammy. My father’s mom. 96 years old. Living life each day to the fullest despite circumstance and tragedy. When she was just a new mom with two children and one in the oven, the love of her life, “Bunny” Merriam was killed in an explosion in Texas. But she looked life in the eye, with ambition and determination and unexplainable strength and gave her children what she thought best. I can only imagine the day my father was born what her emotions could have been. Excitement yet such sadness that Bunny was not there. But she moved on and carried the weight of the world on her shoulders to provide for her family. And she did.
I can remember to visit her for a week at a time in the summer as a little gril. I remember riding in her clean leather interior car thinking, she is one cool grammy. She bowled; she swam; the pool was even named after her; she knew everyone at the assisted living home; she rarely took the elevator; she liked the exercise of the stairs; she was a gardener; she was a mean “kings in the corner” player and “bridge” player; she liked her afternoon totty; she loved her children; she was generous; she was passionate about her grandchildren attending college; she was smart; she loved people; she was committed in her faith; she was romantic; she was hopeful; she remarried at the age of 94! She lived life to the fullest- to the very last day of her 96 years on this earth.
I am blessed to be apart of her heritage. What strength in a woman. She passed away this past weekend but she lives within me during those times when courage override every other possible emotion. She was my Grammy.

4 responses to “Polly Dudley Merriam/Winans/Beischer”

  1. Sweet Krissie: Thanks for sharing your thoughts/feelings/emotions about your Grammy. She was a unique individual who suffered some pain in her life, but spent her life paying back for those who gifted to her through the years. When I was a boy, we were always being \”dragged\” to some shelter, settlement house, or spending time with someone whom she felt was in \”need\”. She was, of course, correct, but as a elementary school child, it wasn\’t your favorite choice of how to spend free time. She was always carting me off to visit some young blind girl, or deaf boy, or old folks home all with the intent of giving back to those less fortunate. When I was really little and we were still living in Dickinson, Texas the only way to get me to church was if I could sit on the organ bench with her. She was the organist for our Episcopal church, which is also where I went to kindergarten. Just a final clarification on your story, Sweets P. I was already born and was 9 months old when Daddy died in Texas City. Daddy was out of town in St. Louis working when I was born though. My godfather, Uncle Sterling Moore, who loved Grammy and Grampa Bunny very much, drove Grammy to the hospital. Uncle Sterling and Aunt Irene never had children, but we became family for the rest of our lives. They were our next door neighbors who become family right up until they passed on over the last few years. Family isn\’t just biological, it\’s a commitment to the relationship…even when it\’s inconvenient and emotionally upsetting at times and not always reciprocal from our viewpoint. Your mom, Gail, and I share this belief without a doubt. Perhaps that\’s our legacy to you. That\’s it for this morning…thanks for your sharing. Love you lots, Dad

  2. Great post Kristin! She will definitely be missed, and I will always have special memories of her.

  3. ((((((Kristin))))))I\’m glad you have such sweet memories to keep her close!

  4. Kris, I was just reading these and it made me think of the time we went up there during the summer and we rode in her clean car and when we went over the bumps and we would say that they would give us the \”butterflies\” and she would always say, \”thank you mamm\” and from then on I have continued to use that saying. She was and always will be a wonderful lady. I hope all is well with you guys talk to you later this week. Love youQz

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: