My paternal great grandmother, Mary Clay Button, was 80 years old when she made transition. Growing up and for the longest time into my adulthood, I just thought of her dying as a result of just being old. While I have had her death certificate for a little over a year and poured over every line, I never had her cause of death deciphered. This weekend I had that opportunity when the Buffalo Genealogical Society of the African Diaspora had a workshop on Causes of Death from Death Certificates. When I presented my great grandmother's death certificate, I was told that she died from breast cancer that had spread throughout her body. For some reason, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I went into mourning.
The local African American newspaper, the Buffalo Criterion, had an article on her passing with the the first paragraph stating that she was ill for a year. -- but no mention of cancer. No one in the family ever mentioned cancer when they spoke of her. But that's how it was at that time -- cancer was almost thought of as a plague and not spoken of. Her transition year was 1955, two years after I was born so I didn't get to know her but I've been told that she loved me. She would bounce me on her knees and had a chant, "Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump. You ain't jumped none today."
I jump in your honor & smile.