Saturday, August 08, 2009

My Grandmother - Lilla Bell

This was my grandmother's name, Lilla Bell, and today would have been my her birthday. Everyone always just called her Lilla. She was born in 1910 in a small Huntsville Community. I previously posted about my family here. Since today would have been her birthday, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to tell you about her.

She was my dad's mom and was the youngest of 4 children. I grew up hearing my aunt say since she was the baby, she was always spoiled, in a kidding way. While there may have been some jealousy on my aunt's part, I think it was my grandmother that always wanted to be in my aunt's shadow. Her first marriage ended in divorce and the second man she married didn't last long. She never remarried after that and sometimes I think she might have been lonely, but her life was full of her family, friends, and church.

She had two son's, my dad and his brother. Her oldest son died when he was a baby and my dad grew up as an only child. Back in the 40's, being single, and raising a child I'm sure was hard. I know she did the best she could.

She lived in a small house down the road from my aunt. I don't remember this house much, because by the time I remember spending time with her, she had moved into a previous house my aunt owned that was right next to door to her. I remember in the summer she'd leave the windows open and there was always a cool breeze blowing through at night. It never seemed hot in the summer like it does now, or maybe the heat just didn't bother me then. I could hear the tree frogs at night and occassionally I'd hear dogs barking or a coyote in the night. I remember so vividly one summer night when I had both my grandmother's with me that night. For some reason my mother's grandmother, which was actually my great grandmother, had spent the night at her home. We all slept in the back bedroom on the feather mattress with the cool air coming in. I remember by morning it was quite chilly. That was the only time I ever remember both grandmother's being together.

She made the best chocolate pie ever. Homemade crust and the chocolate pudding was so rich. Homemade meringue was piled high on top. I couldn't wait to cut into it. You knew it would still be warm from having just come out of the oven. This was her specialty and we always requested it.

My grandmother was a good woman and wasn't rich by any means. I sometimes think she felt bad that she couldn't give us more, especially at Christmas. But what she did give us, couldn't have been bought at any store. Memories, precious ones that I will always cherish. She was so faithful to her church and I can remember her always reading her bible on Saturday getting ready for her Sunday School lesson. She loved my boys so. I miss you Mamaw!! Happy Birthday.


  1. Weren't we blessed by our grandmothers? Lovely memories!

  2. Your memories are beautiful, and so wonderfully southern -- so is that gorgeous name -- Lilla Bell!
    What a wonderful tribute to who was an obviously special woman.
    To Lilla Bell. Cheers.
    xo Isa

  3. T. - i know it's hard to talk about loved ones who aren't around to see what we have grown into and to feel the constant love we have for them, and i know what my daddy always called 'good people' - you are 'good people' and you come from 'good people' and i know your Mamaw would be so very proud of who you are today. i love when you write from the heart like this. it is so touching and filled with the romance of youth captured under glass and held in the heart for eternity. Happy Birthday to Lilla! (is it pronounced 'lil'la or 'lie'la ?)
    always a fan,

  4. Wonderful memories. Grandmothers! Just to think back and see just how much of importence they had on our lifes. Had a great visit. Stop by when you can.

  5. Grandmothers always hold a special place in our hearts and evoke such warm childhood memories. I love hearing about "family". Thanks for making those memories real to us.

  6. Thanks for sharing that story of your grandmother with us. I so believe that it is important for us to recount our memories of our loved ones to are children, grandchildren. It certainly helps to keep our cheirshed loved ones alive in our hearts! Thank you also for taking the time to read our article. Any time you come to San Diego, I know of a wonderful place to stay!!
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  7. I miss both my mom's mom would have been 104 this year..she died in 2000..She was 46 when I was born..she loved me and taught me so much miss you grannie..

  8. She sounds too sweet for words. I can hear it in your story. I had a granny named Lillian, she was gone by the time I was 6, I stayed in her shadow. I remember her like she was just here yesterday! Thanks for the wonderful story, Blessings, Janna

  9. Thanks for the post, brought back many memories of my Grandmother. I cherish with all my heart my newer role in life as a "Gramma"!! So far in this journey of life, "Gramma" has been the best role I've ever had.


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