Abbie and Eveline

Abbie Webber Smith Brender

When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be a Grandmother. Not a mother. Not a veterinarian, or a teacher, or president. A Grandmother.

My grandmothers, Abbie Webber Smith Brender and Eveline Coates Hoskins, were the inspiration for that childhood ambition. I was blessed to spend most of my early years in daily contact with one or the other of them.

I followed my grandmothers around as they went about their daily tasks and they included me. I wasn’t too little. I wasn’t in the way. (Well, I might have been too little and in the way, but they never said so and never made me feel as though I was.) Eveline called me her “little buddy.” They shared their work with me. They shared their hobbies and interests with me. They played with me – each in her own way. They had soft arms to just sit and cuddle with me.

Eveline Coates Hoskins

I moved away from my grandmothers before my 8th birthday. I missed them terribly. What had been daily or weekly time with them turned into yearly visits. Not only did I miss the personal time with my grandmothers (and grandfathers and a lot of other family!), I also missed those Sunday dinners around Grandma’s table – the place where family stories are told and retold.

Alas, I am not (yet?) a Grandmother. In the meantime, I’ll be working on our family history and collecting as many stories as I can.

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