My Great Grandmother(Edith Hamilton Moore) was an amazing person; blind from 1964 due to a botched glaucoma surgery to when I knew her she suffered, but rose above it – It goes without saying that I didn’t know her in her youth. As a young child I helped her in many ways when I visited. I also once stole $20 from her to buy candy – I still feel bad about that. This blog is for her, she was a poet; I am not. I hope to add as much context to her writings as I can, but my perspective is limited because of the way time works – we’ll see some of that in her writings.
I remember guiding my Great Grandmother (Maw) around the house in the summers when I’d visit my Grandmother and Uncle in Memphis, Tennessee. In particular, I remember her at about 87 years old; holding her hand and walking her beyond her usual trips to the bathroom – out to the backyard in Memphis to pick Okra that my grandmother had grown – even blind she could tell the ones to pick. I don’t think anyone ever knew but us about our trips outside of the house. Imagine a 10 year old boy walking a blind, frail 87 year old out to the sun (out of the AC) in the summer in Memphis, Tennessee. I can still smell the humid air, the cool of the in-window AC unit; the drip, drip drip of the condensed water and the feel of her frail, bony hand in mine as we walked out into a place she didn’t usually go. In hindsight – it must have been fun for her – we met without a preconceived notion of what is possible.
I think this is a story of family – what it means to connect and remain connected. Imagine your mother going blind, and you reading the news to her EVERY DAY – the whole front page. Taking care of her – my Grandmother did this for her mother from 1963 to 1990 when she died. I caught a glimpse of it, I did it – we picked Okra in the back yard.
My Great Grandmother’s thoughts mean a great deal to me – I read them and know she was blind – I can see her clouded eyes. I hope the verses help others see – not in any religious sense; she had a great wisdom of balance.
So here we go… my Grandmother collected these, wrote them down and published them.
The author of these verses was born on December 7, 1889, and until she was in her early ‘teens, lived in North Alabama and in Pratt City, a suburb of Birmingham.
Her father was a Methodist Minister in the north Alabama Conference, and was at one time President of Hiwassee College, then a four year graduate institution.
After his health failed the family moved back to the family farm in the Hiawassee community (about a mile from the college campus) and she attended Hiwassee College, graduating in 1909 with a B.A. Degree.
In 1964 she became totally blind due to an unsuccessful operation for glaucoma, and she turned to writing verses to occupy her time when no one was available to read aloud to her or when she was tired of listening to the radio.
She dictated these verses to whomever was available to write them down, but never considered trying to get them published.
She died in September of 1990 =, leaving instructions for cover design and title page of a book she hoped to have printed someday as a keepsake for her family.
This is the book…
B. Covey (My Grandmother)