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While she is sick, Granny notes that she "isn't too old yet" to give advice to Lydia about her children. Her son Jimmy had continued to ask her for business advice. Granny indicates that Cornelia asked for advice about seemingly trivial things. "Cornelia couldn't change the furniture around without asking. Little things, little things!"
After recalling times when the children were young, Granny thinks about the importance of not wasting anything.
I want you to pick all the fruit this year and see that nothing is wasted. There's always someone who can use it. Don't let good things rot for want of using.
In her old age, and approaching death, Granny considers the advice she's given her children and this relates to how she considers her own role in their lives at this point. She wants to continue to be useful to them, to be able to give them advice. If her children no longer have any use for her, she will (like the wasted fruit) "rot for want of using." Just as she was jilted at the altar, Granny feels jilted by her children a because they don't need her as they did when they were all younger.
Granny regards herself as superior to her children in most matters. As a widow, she has supported her family single handedly, caring for the house as well as doing difficult farm labor and working as a midwife. She remarks that her children still come to her for advice. Her daughter Lydia once drove a long distance to seek her counsel when one of her children ran away, while her son Jimmy frequently comes to her for business advice. Her daughter Cornelia also asks her opinion on household matters such as rearranging the furniture. By recalling the prominent role she continues to play in her family, Granny reaffirms her competence and self worth as she reaches the end of her life.
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