Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Grandpa Stringam

My Grandpa as I remember him. With Chris and Jerry. 
My Grandpa Stringam was born in 1876, in Holden Utah.
He ranched there with his dad. Married. Prepared to welcome children.
And then tragedy struck.
His first wife, Mary Ann (May) Snow, passed away, together with her twin unborn sons, following an accident involving runaway horses.
Broken hearted, Grampa continued to ranch. Then accepted a call to serve a mission for his church to Australia.
After his return home, he married longtime friend, Sarah Lovina Williams and they set up housekeeping, first on his father’s farm, then on their own place in Teasdale, Utah.
A few years later, they had settled in Glenwood, Alberta, ranching there and in the Milk River area, and raising nine of eleven children.
My dad was the baby.
Grampa was a rancher, husband, father, grandfather, MLA for Cardston for three terms, faithful church attender and leader, neighbour and friend.
He was faithful, honest, hardworking, kind, and thorough, with a terrific sense of humour and a firm belief that actions should always speak louder than words.
My Dad loved him and tries to emulate him to this day.
Grandpa Stringam passed away when I was four.
I have only one memory of him . . .
My grandparents, in their later years, moved to the city of Lethbridge, in Southern Alberta. The main entry of their home opened onto a hallway that bisected the house, front to back, with French doors to the right, leading into the living room.
Behind those doors was my grandfather’s recliner.
At this point in time, he must have been quite ill with the cancer that finally took his life.
All I know is that’s where I found him.
Reclined in his chair, feet up and newspaper spread out in front of him.
“Grampa!” I said.
The newspaper dropped. “There’s our little Diane girl!”
That was all the invitation I needed.
There was Grandpa. There was Grandpa’s lap. Just waiting for a little girl to snuggle.
And that’s what I did.
For several minutes, I cuddled there, listening to his heart beating and the sound of his voice coming through his chest as he talked to my parents.
I didn’t follow the conversation, which was probably quite serious.
All I knew was that I felt safe. And cared for.
Breathing in, for what turned out to be the last time, the scent that was Grandpa. 

As a young man

During his mission to Australia

Oh, the missionary life!

May 4, 1903

At my parents' wedding
Gramma and Grampa Stringam on their Golden Anniversary

8 comments:

  1. I truly love your writing, Diane. It's kind and it's gentle. It makes me cry (like today) and makes me laugh (like yesterday). You have written this memory so beautifully, I feel like I knew your grampa too. What a gift to have, and to share. I'm so glad I found your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jenny! Now you've made me cry!

      Delete
  2. So wonderful to have all those photos. I'm sure he took comfort from having you snuggled in his lap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no idea how ill he was. I only knew he was there!

      Delete
  3. Very nice tribute to your grandpa :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Quite a handsome young man your Grandpa was, there's a hint of Tom Selleck in his looks. Possibly a similar gene pool.
    I'm glad you got to have that last snuggle.

    ReplyDelete

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