June 9, 2021


Harriett sent this snapshot from April, 1971, to her sister Della and on the back she wrote: “Me and my darling Grandchildren.”  She’d been with us in Columbia for a few weeks before Patrick was born and stayed for a month afterward.  Tootsie, Katie and Emily drove over from Athens to take her home—and to meet our sweet new baby boy!

Emily was Glenn’s only child—and 19 years old in this photo. Heather was three years old, and Patrick about a month old.  Her three grandchildren—each of whom she loved unconditionally all her life. One of the great things about being a grandparent is that you can be more relaxed and delight in your grandchildren without too many distractions.

Emily proved to be a very complicated grandchild. Only 8 years old when her father died, she seemed to live on a rollercoaster of physical and emotional highs and lows. She married briefly at 15 and by this time, was married to her second husband, Kenny.  He was a kind person and loved Emily. We hoped her life was on an even keel at last. During this visit, she said she wanted to have a baby and the next January, she and Kenny welcomed their baby boy Robert.

Harriett would live to enjoy her darling grandchildren another 21 years!  She spent increasing amounts of time in South Carolina with us—and was such a tremendous help after I became a single working mother. Cooking, cleaning, raking leaves—but most importantly, being present when Heather and Patrick got home from school.  And sometimes having warm Snickerdoodles ready for a snack! She loved getting to know their friends who came over and was happy to celebrate their birthdays and graduations.  

Emily’s life spiraled out of control again and again. Her grandmother grieved and worried and prayed—and never stopped loving her.  She adored little Robert, her first great-grandchild—and rejoiced when his first son Johnathan was born—a great-great grandson.  And when Emily married Ronnie and they had a baby girl Katie, she was delighted.  After she was ill and needed sitters, Emily and Katie (about 8 years old) flew to Columbia to stay with Harriett when I went to Heather’s Vanderbilt graduation.

There was never any doubt that these grandchildren were cherished.

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