Friday, September 30, 2011


The name "Baba" was used for Janice's grandmother on her mother's side. She lived with Janice's family since the day Janice was born. Since both Janice's parents were working full time, Baba was part of every one of the Fernalds' lives. She lived until the age of 104! Even though her last four years were a bit rough, overall she had a good life.
As I mentioned before, Baba came into the US from Nova Scotia, Canada. Since there was no official immigration at the time for people coming in from the north, she could be classified as one of the illegal immigrants. She and her husband, who worked as a Boston Trolley Car driver, sent their two daughters to be educated in Universities which they never could have attended, one to Harvard and another to Smith College. They had to work very hard and very determinedly to make sure that their daughters had the best education. It is amazing that they had so much faith in education during that time when higher education was not regarded as useful or statistically proven to be so!
Baba took care of everything at home when Janice and her siblings were growing up. Baba made sure that they did their home work, practiced the piano, went to ballet classes, and other domestic chores of every kind, including cooking and cleaning.
When I first met her, she gave me the best treatment she knew how for her granddaughter's friend. She usually tried to stay in the kitchen and only said a few words related to the food she cooked. This picture best describes the image she gave to me, puttering around in the kitchen and frequently singing old songs there. Over the many years, I went to visit only during vacation time and holidays. She steadfastly (and stubbornly) kept playing her role in the family as she had always done, regardless of her age. 

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