Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On this day, in 1911....



On December 8th, 1911, my mother's mother was born. She was a beautiful, loving woman, a protestant pastor's daughter, who married a protestant pastor and raised two incredible daughters. She also played hockey, went to business school, and had a keen fashion sense, which occasionally caused
a stir.

My grandmother devoted her life to her family and the church. She was actively involved in Church Women's United, at one time serving as president for her chapter, as I'm given to understand. According to the Grandparent book she filled out for me, she appeared once on television, to read for the National Day of Prayer. (I need research that further.)

1933 Chicago World's Fair 
She had a beautiful voice, which she contributed to the church often as a soloist and regularly in the choir. After this picture of her at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair surfaced, my aunt told me she'd performed there.

But, to me, she was Grandma. We baked cookies, played cards, made crafts, and fed ducks. I don't remember her home in Mt. Prospect, but apparently the ducks were my favorite thing. When she moved to California, she found the nearest duck pond, which happened to be in a shopping center, and we soon made it one of our places. (Sadly, it's been paved over for more parking.)

She was an adventurous spirit, and loved to travel. She and Grandpa traveled to Europe, more than once if I recall correctly. Her fascination with zepplins extended to hot-air balloons, so, for her 80th birthday, two of my brothers took her for her first balloon ride. After that, she was determined to go parasailing....  

Grandma was also a two time cancer survivor - Lymphoma, then Breast Cancer. Later, she shattered an ankle and a hip, in separate incidents. We started calling her the Bionic Woman, in part because of the hardware holding her together, but mostly because she always bounced back. After the hip, the doctor said she would never walk without a walker. He didn't know her very well. It took awhile, but eventually she was carrying the cane more than she used it. I honestly don't know how she did it.

This was one of her favorite times of year, though she loved celebrations any time. In the years leading up to, and after her balloon ride, she amassed quite the collection of balloon ornaments and decorations. She would have loved the ones pictured here, on the right.

And, I could go on and on ... she truly was a remarkable woman, and I am so blessed to have been her granddaughter, to have spent as much time with her as I did.

Happy Birthday, Grandma! Love you, Always....