Flora Lucile Brindle
December 4, 1906 - January 25, 2001

My grandmother, Flora Lucile Brindle, just died half an hour ago at 12:45pm pacific. She was 97 years old, having been born on December 4, 1903, in San Francisco, California. At 2 years old, she was a survivor of the great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake in which more than 2,500 people died and almost the whole city was burned to the ground. She was the youngest of 7 children and the first to be born in America after traveling here from Great Britain. She was the oldest surviving member of my family, the last of her generation. She's lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nova Scotia, Kansas City, Flag Staff and Washingtion D.C. She was Eleanor Roosevelt's secretary when that woman was at her most prominent. I still have an invitation Eleanor gave her to a garden party at the White House. I wonder what it was like to be in your 20s in the 1920s, to live through every war of the 20th century, to witness the entire transformation of the world over the course of your lifetime. I remember when I was a little child, playing underneath her enormous oak dining room table; I remember her head dipping below the edge to check on me, her raven black hair streaked with gray. I remember, "You're my grandson. I love you."

I love you too, Grandma.