Category: Memoir

Wintry Decline

Blow, blow, thou winter wind Thou art not so unkind, As man’s ingratitude.
My age is as a lusty winter, frosty, but kindly.
Now is the winter of our discontent.  ~William Shakespeare
She always articulates her parting with a twinge; does she not? Here’s my expression of her departure.~ Josette ❤
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#BlizzardStella from my back yard South Bronx March 14, 2017
Stranded, bellowing encircling seductively, kindred essence of the malevolent; yet enchantingly, she stays
Nipped, rasping endearments embracing bitterly, kin to the seams of the quill; yet enchantingly, she plays
Partaken, gelid drops diminishing sluggishly, tastelessly, ally from the arctic abyss; yet enchantingly, she sways
*Footnotes- So what motivated me? Obviously the view 😀 and these lovely sounds-
Winter Sounds and of course quotes from Shakespeare!
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Grandfathers

 I’m always talking about my Irish ancestry; which I cherish.
I would like to introduce you to my Grandfathers. I never met them, so everything I know has been from research. Both of these men were not in my parents lives either.

My Paternal Grandfather was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He immigrated to America as a man. Tracing his ancestry in Denmark it was soon discovered the actual Paternal name of our family should’ve been Madsen. There was an event that took place where my Second Great Grandmother had to give her son her family name. So my surname should actually be Madsen; rather than Hansen. I do know my Grandfather had green eyes. My Dad has green eyes, as do I, and two of my sisters. My Grandfather had other children, but I’ve never met them. We are cut out for personal reasons I won’t mention.
I try hard to imagine what he looked like, and I always wonder what he was like. If I ever had the chance I’d like to find out if we shared common interests. Unfortunately this is all I know.

My Maternal Grandfather Robert Schramm is German, and Scottish.

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     The only photo I have of him.

His paternal line is German, and his Mother was German, and Scottish. His Grandfather was the first to immigrate from Germany. Adam Schramm my Second Great Grandfather arrived in New York from port Bremen aboard the SS Mosel on March 22, 1882.

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The picture above is the ship he came on. I traced him to a church in the former Manhattanville  on 125th street, and Amsterdam. It is called St. Joseph of the Holy Family.

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I took the photo above upon my visit there. St. Josephs had baptismal records for three generations of my Schramm’s. It was extremely eerie sitting inside the church. I actually cried a lot, and could feel oddly connected.
The census records allowed me to follow in their footsteps, along with military records. My Great Grandfather Andrew died young. My Grandfather was an orphan at thirteen. He, and his brother George Frederick went to live with their older brother John.
John Schramm was a young Father himself, and newly married. They all made a living working in lumber yards, and auto jobs.
World War II took them all to Europe.
My Grandfather served as Private First Class Company K 26th Infantry Regiment.

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      That is the logo for the 26th Infantry Regiment, also called blue spades.

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

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       This is a photo of the 26th Infantry Regiment in Germany.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

He did not come back right, and he struggled with alcoholism. I have been ordering birth, and death records for as many ancestors I can trace.
When his death certificate arrived, it was bittersweet. He died alone at forty-eight from alcoholism. When I opened the mail, I cried for a long time. I wished more than anything I could have been there for him.
I am now though, by living a life to honor not only him but all my ancestors.
Recently I visited his grave with my sister. My Grandfather, and Grand Uncle are buried in Long Island Military Cemeteries.

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That is a photo from our Veterans Day visit with Grandpa. My Uncle (his namesake) is buried there with him. My uncle died at the age of twenty-six, he had no children. He joined his Father only three years after. He was beaten in Far Rockaway, and died shortly after.

I’m still trying to trace Grandfathers family in Germany but there isn’t much to go on. The church records here say Bavaria. My Second Great Grandfather Adam was married to a Margaret Stark.
My other Grand Uncle George Frederick Schramm is a mystery. I would love to find his burial, and visit him.
I’ve recently turned to Genetic DNA testing with Family Tree DNA. I’m waiting for that Schramm match or breakthrough cousin.
Grandfathers Maternal line consists of my Great Grandmother Emma Neese. Her Father was John Neese a German, and Scottish man.
Her Mother was Mary Ann Wright a Scottish woman.
A recent cousin match with DNA for this line; uncovered disturbing news.
My Second Great Grandfather John Neese died in sing sing prison. His sentence was for killing his wife, my Second Great Grandmother.
My sister and I visited her grave recently. We found she had no headstone, and we are buying one this year for her.
To find out how I discovered Mary’s burial site read my Dreams Category. It’s pretty creepy but it happens to me often.

Someday, I’m hopeful, I’ll find more.

Time

“ It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

Rose Kennedy

Time,
The moments that are supposed to,
Put distance
Between you, and me
Your thoughts,
Remain,
Recall
The memories,
Bring pain
Your words,
Reflect
In my heart
When I,
Dig deep
They tear me
Apart

Written by: Josette Hansen
Pseudonym Adinah Schramm
Copyright©

City Solace

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     I sit on this summit of stones; cool winter breeze upon my face, hair flowing.

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     The greater light reigns high in the sky beginning its descend.

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     I am surrounded by the remnants of nature, the gems of this City.
     Squirrels roam these fields, digging for their hidden treasure.
     The plane above invades my solace, reminding me of where I am.
     I open my eyes to see standing before me, man made towers.

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Written By: Josette Hansen
Pseudonym Adinah Schramm
Copyright©

Ten Quote Tuesday Writing Prompt: “I don’t remember my birthdays.”

Here are the choices:

Writing Prompts

  • Include all these elements into a scene: sports tickets, a candle, discouragement, and drawing.
  • Have a scene with a self-conscious politician.
  • Start your scene with this line: I don’t remember my birthdays.

Here is the original post for the writing prompts: http://ryanlanz.com/2015/01/13/ten-quote-tuesday-23/comment-page-1/#comment-4941

I drew inspiration for the protagonist from my own loss. My Mom passed in 2010.

          I don’t remember my birthdays anymore. I’ve left them behind the day the woman who gave me life was gone. What good would this day do me; if all it did was remind me of her? I lay in bed trying to avoid every person who knew this day once existed. Why did they feel the need to torture me with their joy? Their smiles burned holes in my soul like acid. I just want to sleep until tomorrow; I’ll come out of my cave when this pain has passed over me.
They can have the cake; the wishes; even the god damn balloons. They are the ones who want that stuff anyway. “Go ahead, eat your fucking cake, and blow out the damn candles.” You can take this day as your own, then you’ll have two days to celebrate. Please don’t search for me, I never sent an S.O.S.
Curled in a ball like a fetus again with the blankets over my head to drown the sun; I can see her image in my mind. She smiles at me, and I could hear her voice so clear. “Happy Birthday.” Oh this mind has become my enemy too; it won’t let me forget the memories of you. I do not wish to surrender to this joy. Why are you trying to make me feel? The numbness is what has kept me alive. To feel is to remember, and I do not want to go to that place again.
Slumber calls me after the agony of existing awake on this god forsaken day. Sleep gives me peace, it is the only place I am free from everything. The clouds dance in the sky above; while the birds sing in harmony. I sit in the sun alone, I am free. I rise to my feet, and run. I run so fast like I was late for something but I didn’t know what.
Awake so suddenly to the sound of birds singing outside the window. Alas, the day has passed. I made it again! I don’t know how long I can keep this up but for now I will take this success. I can live beyond the day that once connected us two. Never, will you find me celebrating apart from the woman who gave me life. That was our day, a day she loved to remember.

Written By: Josette Hansen
Pseudonym Adinah Schramm
Copyright ©

Chemo

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The very thing that should’ve
Saved her; became her murderer
Claimed her
Her absence became an abyss
That swallowed me every time
Her memory surfaced.

Written by: Josette Hansen
Pseudonym Adinah Schramm
Copyright ©

The News

This is for the writing prompt “Ten Quote Tuesday.” I chose the quote: “It had been at least a minute since he last blinked.”
Here is a link to the original post: Ten Quote Tuesday

     It had been at least a minute since he last blinked; he sat in silence across the table. She tried to imagine what was going on inside his head. “Would he be happy to be a Father again?” She was afraid to say another word. His expression; heck, his reaction scared her.
     She swallowed her last piece of bread slowly, and cleared her throat, ahem. She was hoping he would look at her, but he didn’t. “Are you not happy?” She finally blurted out; her heart was racing.
     The fire snapped; breaking his long trance with the candle flame. He placed his napkin gently on his plate, and rose from his seat; a smile emerging upon his face. “Of course I’m happy.”
     He walked over to her, grabbing her hands. He lifted her up from her seat, and lay kisses on her eyes. “I’m more than happy love.” He hugged her tightly. “Come let’s tell the children.”

Written by: Josette Hansen
Pseudonym Adinah Schramm
Copyright ©2014