Brenda Nicholson

Mila Scott: An Extraordinary Woman You’ve Never Heard of, and I Barely Knew

Mila Scott was my grandmother on my mom’s side.

I found a picture of her tonight as my daughter and I sorted through old photos. And I found out that she had a stepfather. I never knew.

My daughter and I commented on the pictures of some of my aunts — Mila’s daughters — and how different they looked from my mom.

Then we found a picture of my Aunt Alice.

Her name was Mary Alice, but since my grandmother already had a daughter named Mary, she went by her middle name. You’re probably confused. Alice was not my grandmother’s daughter, but she did belong to my grandfather.

Mila had a baby that died shortly after birth.

Around the same time, my grandfather’s girlfriend had a baby too.

In the early 1900s, it was scandalous for an unmarried woman to have a child. The story goes that Mila’s brother happened to find the woman in question as she was trying to kill her baby. He stopped her and went to tell his sister what had happened.

Mila sent my grandfather back to get the baby and bring it to her.

I hope he was at least a little bit ashamed of his behavior.

My grandmother, Mila Scott, nursed that baby and raised her as her own. I can’t imagine being so kind-hearted, forgiving, and generous. That was the only time that my grandfather stepped out on her, as far as I know.

I was ten when she passed away. I would have loved to have known her better.

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