Dear Faithful Praying Family & Friends,
Susan Hope Long Blair [1898-1965]
Raised in NC, in a hard-working trade and farming community, Susan Hope Long was the eldest of eight children. She quit her formal education, after grade eight, in order to work and help support her large family. She and Raymond Blair were married in 1918 and had two children, both boys [Alton and Raymond]. During the next few years, she designed and supervised the building of the first and last home she and Raymond owned: an Arts & Crafts style bungalow, in Winston-Salem, NC. In 1943, Susan Hope sent both of her sons off to WWII, one to the Air Corps and one to the Navy. Not knowing if they would ever return, this selfless act was one of supreme sacrifice and valor.
Both sons did return from WWII, married, finished their education, began careers, and raised families. Over the next two decades, Susan Hope became the matriarch of her entire family: siblings, nieces, nephews, children, and grandchildren. Long before the term “Elder Care” was first coined, she humbly dedicated herself to caring for her ailing parents in their own home.
She became the quintessential grandmother, creating beauty, as she lived out this motto of the Shakers: “Our hearts to God and our hands to work:” She played the piano and sang in the church choir, under the direction of her father, David Israel Long. From her church, I learned to love ancient hymns and liturgy. In her home, she sewed, baked, and cooked. She also cut her own lawn, gardened, and canned her own fruit and vegetables.
Hope Susan lovingly provided for me some of the happiest moments of my childhood. She still inspires me today, in my new role as a grandmother. I have only to look in the mirror each morning to be reminded of her, as I inherited her wavy, silver hair. If I also inherited her virtue and strength of character, I will be very grateful. Only time and suffering will bring this transformation to light.
Mommo Blair, [pronounced “MAH-mah”], Round Two is dedicated to you!