She was born in 1918, and the nine siblings who came afterwards looked up to her. She went away to nursing school, and when she graduated in 1939, she was the president of her class.
Later on, she married this man, John B. Herb.
Together, they had seven children. There were six daughters, of which my mother was the second youngest, and one son. The family lived in this house, on Essex Place in Nashville, Tennessee.
John died of lung cancer in 1963, when their youngest child was only three. After his death, my Grannymo worked full time as a nurse to support the family. All of her children married and had children of their own; she has nineteen grandchildren. Now, the great-grandchildren are coming along.
One day, my aunt mentioned to me that Grannymo might like to have an afghan. And that her 90th birthday was coming up. So, I set to work. Three months later:
I’m hoping that she’ll enjoy it, maybe use it when she’s doing her crossword puzzles or watching the news. I hope it lasts a long time, and none of the caregivers wash it with bleach! Mostly, though, I hope she knows I made it because I love her. And selfishly, I hope that she was right when she said, “Whenever I use it, I’ll think of you.” Because now, whenever I make another blanket, I’ll think of the first one that I ever made, this one, for my Grannymo.