The Pilot Light

For me, the gas stove is the only way to cook. I grew up with one from the 1940’s. Looked a bit like this.

You had to light the oven and the broiler below it with a match, but the burners on top of the stove were maintained by a “pilot light”, whose small blue flame burned constantly .

My grandmother was the pilot light of my childhood family. That light burned out suddenly and tragically on a warm Good Friday evening in the late 1950’s.

We were coloring Easter eggs when she excused herself from the kitchen to rest on the living room sofa. She never woke up. Massive coronary. She was 57 years old.

Fortunately, my dad was home at the time; working shift work at the local steel mill, that was never a given. My mother was quickly summoned from her job at Bell Telephone.

My sister was 8, I was 6 and the baby girl was 8 months old. We were quickly dispatched to our bedrooms. We watched in horror from the staircase as the drama unfolded.

The ambulance arrived, the attendants tried to revive her as we did the only thing we knew to do; we cried and we prayed.

They took her away. We never saw her again. Not in the hospital, not at the viewing or funeral. In our life, she was just gone.

We all scrambled to recover from the shock, each in our own personal way, but the beautiful force that held our family together, the heart, the light, the warmth had been extinguished.

Our pilot light.

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This entry was posted in Childhood, Family, Memories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Pilot Light

  1. lbeth1950 says:

    I still miss my grandmother everyday.

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