This Young Woman – Belle

This young woman was just married. She smiles thinking about her future with this man who will share her life. They are not young, she 27 and he one year older, but the promise of a future together causes her to smile.

She will bear three children; the first, a son, in less than two years. Five years later, a daughter whom she will name after her mother, and after two more years another daughter.

Time was hard in what came to be called The Great Depression, and one prairie winter saw her husband succumb to the hardship as illness took him from her. Her youngest baby daughter was only four months old when she was faced with life without her husband.

Her husband’s family were good people. They built her a little house next to theirs in the prairie village where they lived. She raised her three children under the watchful eye of her husband’s parents, thankful for the help they provided.

Her daughters would marry young, both to older men, perhaps seeking the paternal influence taken from them so tragically. Her son would not marry and would continue to live with her in the little house in the prairie village.

Almost forty years after her husband had died, she went on to be with him. She had lived a quiet, simple and difficult life, and she had raised three strong children. In another time, may have built a life with a second husband, but that was not to be her path.

This young woman’s name was Belle and she was my grandmother. I don’t recall her smiling or laughing, though I’m sure she must have. I don’t recall her hugging me or playing with me, and I’m sure she didn’t. I can’t say I knew her, more tragically I can’t say I loved her, but now thirty seven years after her death, I honor her.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. That is beautiful.

  2. My grandmother lived in a different state but I remember visiting her. I loved her house, always felt so homey. She wasn’t very friendly but had her ways of showing her love for us.

  3. Very touching and melancholy, and I think a lot of us can relate. Seems that grandmothers from that era are similar in many way. I wonder why?

  4. Beautiful. We all have memories of our grandparents or other relatives whether they be good or bad, comforting or not. I love the last word “honor”. I think that is something kids today and kids even of my generation seem to have forgotten. Very touching.

  5. Angie, and Ang – thank you for your comments. I think that it is our responsibility to honor those women who came before us. They endured so much so that we could be so blessed.

    Patty – I’m glad you have fond “homey” memories of your grandma

    Embee – Isn’t it interesting when we find that we’re not all so different as we may think? Perhaps the similarities have something to do with the hard times that they endured.

  6. I loved this trubute and I especially loved the last paragraph–wonderful! What a hard life she lived. Makes me think of my SIL–her husband died three years ago young and she is left to raise her two teenagers but lives on property next to her in-laws–what a difference that makes for her too.

  7. Terri – in some ways it may be harder for your SIL being left alone with teenagers. I’ve come to learn that none of us gets through this life without some sort of trial. Praise God for giving us the strength we need for the life we are given!

  8. Your clear honesty in this piece is commendable.

  9. Poetic and lovely and filled with hope.


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