Happy Birthday G’ma!
My Grandmother, Dora, would have been 102 today.
The photo attached is from her 90th Birthday, where, per her request, she was taken for a ride around town on a friend’s Harley!
This was par for the course for my Granny. On her 80th she went hot air ballooning and on her 70th, parasailing!
There was a running bet on what she was going to do for her 100th birthday. One cousin suggested that she go streaking but G’ma joked that her “birthday suit” is wrinkled……. She was a gas!
To honor her memory, her children, her grandchildren, nieces and nephews and her great grandchildren carry on a phrase that she always used to share.
“Love you most”
She said this, always, to all of us.
Upon arrival for visits, before going to bed, upon departure, on every birthday card etc. My sister, the cousins and I used to playfully argue that she Loved ME Most, no ME, no ME!
But the truth is, she truly had the capacity to love us all, most.
She also loved her neighbors and her neighbors’ children and her neighbors’ pets. She often hosted and took in strays, both human and feline.
Where this overflowing of love came from I’m not sure as her early life was pretty rough. Her mother died when she was 8 years old and, as the eldest, she was charged with helping raise her 6 brothers and sisters. She married a coal miner and had 3 children, 2 boys and then my Mom. Unfortunately the relationship turned abusive, so she took her 3 children and divorced him. Something you just didn’t do in the mid 1940’s in Mormon Utah. She supported herself and her children as a seamstress, a hat maker and a model.
How she met my Grandfather Ray, (step-grandfather, but we never called him that) is one of my favorite stories of all time. She was both seamstress and model in a fashion show where a quartet called “3 Satans and an Angel” provided the musical accompaniment for the runway. As my Grandmother was walking the cat walk, members of the audience started laughing and pointing at something behind her. She turned around and there, walking on his knees, was the violinist from the band, “Groucho Marxing” his way down the runway behind her, catcalling on his instrument. He was 10 years her junior but it was a wrap, he was smitten and so was she.
They married on Christmas day in 1949 (That’s another crazy story), he legally adopted and graciously helped raise her 3 children and they were married for well over 50 years.
Among many other things, Grandma Dora became a master tailor, specializing in suits for both men and women and opened the Skyline Tailoring Mill. She also made 53 wedding gowns for friends and family. Her 53rd was mine, and her last, when she was 89 years old.
I miss and love you G’ma and celebrate today and always.
Love you most!