Last night, X-Chromo came into my office and asked, "What's this?"
She handed me my great-grandmother's autograph book.
The earliest entry I can find is April 5, 1891. That's 102 years and 5 days before X was born.
Edward Sargent of Candor, New York wrote:
May you be happyEach day of your lifeGet a good husbandAnd make a good wife.
Lena Mae Ross married Charles DeWitt Compton in 1895. My parents have a cranberry glass and cut-crystal creamer from that wedding in their china cabinet.
I have a quilt Lena made. When I was a child, it was the "sick blanket": we were only allowed to use it when we were sick. It's in poor shape now. Pretty battered. I think my mom used to wash it in the wringer washer.
Lena died young. She left 3 children, the oldest of whom was my grandfather. My grandmother once told me
she promised Lena she would take care of my grandfather. She ended up marrying him.
When Grandma moved -- I think when she moved in with my aunt after she was too old to live alone -- Grandma gave me Lena's autograph book, because she knew I liked things like that.
Since November, TV Stevie has been learning about his father's family in an exploration of joy and discovering his heritage. I forgot that my children also share my heritage.
Lena's autograph book is a tangible part of that. I'm so glad I have it.