Love: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

When I think about love, my own siblings are my first thought. Our relationships aren’t always easy, but we are always there for each other. We learned this from our parents. My mother’s brother, Kahle, passed away in 1996, but she and her sisters are still with us, all in their 90s.

Frank Hereford Jarrell with his children Kahle, Frances, Lois, and Virginia ca. 1925
From Nov 2014, a cake for all of their birthdays. As of January 2015 they would be 95, 93, and 90, so one of my sisters had the idea to put their collective age on the cake.

As of January 2019, they are collectively 290.

Our best guess is that these are ca. 1942. From left, above: Frances, Lois, and Virginia. They are, of course, reversed in the image below.

They are all widowed and the eldest and youngest are both twice-widowed. They have reached a point where they have a few cousins still living who are close to their ages – clearly longevity is in their genes – but most of their other contemporaries are gone, so their longest relationships have been with each other. They live in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia and none of them travels easily anymore, so when we can get at least two of them together, we are all conscious that it could be for the last time. Most of their communication is via phone calls, but their age is taking its toll on them and even the phone conversations are not easy. Its a good thing that they grew up with a party line telephone and were thoroughly trained to keep conversations short, those phone calls are still not lengthy.

We worry what will happen when one of them passes away, since we are convinced that they are keeping each other alive. For now, they still have each other.


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