Elizabeth Prudentia Fitzmaurice Sullivan
That was my grandmother’s name – she was a tiny lady with very patrician features I remember her best as an old lady. She really couldn’t have been that old when I was a child but she wore her gray hair straight back so she always was old to me. It was strange about her wearing black – as a girl of 18 I tried to get her to change – I made clothes for myself those days and one Christmas I bought some black georgette material and made her a dress with long sleeves – then I put a little white ruffle around the neck and at the sleeves and added a white jabot to the front. Everyone said it was so pretty and she looked so nice but after that one time I never saw her wear it – she went back to the all black outfits. I hate black – it is so depressing but she had her own reasons and couldn’t be swayed.
Grandma kept house for Dan until he married Clare – then she first lived with Dan and Clare – it wasn’t easy living with a daughter-in-law so then she lived with Prue and Charles and that didn’t work out either. It was rather sad – unfortunately, she died before too much time had passed.
I remember her best – when she and Dan and Prue lived up on the top of Graphic Street – there weren’t many houses around and how that wind did howl!! I used to spend the week-ends there sometimes and it was there Grandma told me about the life she led in England after her parents died and she kept house for her brothers and how she met Jeremiah Sullivan . She didn’t want to get married but I guess Jeremiah’s wooing was insistant and she finally said yes – she was only eighteen – she liked to tell about her mother’s running off with the coachman and how angry her mother’s parents were. It sounded very romantic to my impressionable mind. I’m afraid there wasn’t anything romantic about Grandma’s married life – just one child after another – some didn’t live and one trial after another. I hope she has her reward in heaven because I couldn’t see much happiness in her life here.
I liked to visit on Graphic Street especially in the summer. There was a woodsy place not far from the house where a brook trickled among the rocks and I would take Prue's novels and read and dream to my hearts content. Margaret gave me "Janice Meredith" - a novel of the Revolutionary War and I read it and re-read it. I felt so bad when Grandma moved from the house to an apartment near the park and she either threw out or gave away my beloved book. That and my horse with real horse-hair - mother and dad had given me one year for Christmas. How I loved that horse- I used to talk to it - I imagined it was real!
So much for childhood and its little tragedies.
Every Memorial Day I went to Calvary Cemetery with Grandma and we would "decorate" the graves. We took the street-car and then would have to walk up the big hill that was Hazelwood Ave. I liked it because everything was green and the graves...