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Posts Tagged ‘grandmother’

Twenty seven years ago today, I was at work when my boss, the owner of the printing company for which I worked, opened the door to the graphics room and told me I had a phone call.  It was early afternoon and I still had an hour or so of work yet. No one usually called me at work.  As soon as I heard my brother’s voice, I knew.  I knew because that was how I had envisioned it happening a week or so before.  It wouldn’t be my mom calling me or anyone else – it would be my brother.  The words he spoke brought forth too many polarizing emotions.  I didn’t have to wonder anymore about when it would happen.  I knew that a life lived had been to the absolute fullest.  I knew that while everyone else in the family would be falling apart, that I would draw on my inner strength and remain strong for them.  This woman we spoke of had been a constant in my life since birth – the only grandmother that I knew.  When it seemed that my life was falling apart throughout different periods, she was my champion. When I was at my absolute lowest and disappointing everyone else, she hugged me and let me know that no matter what she wouldn’t be mad at me and would love me unconditionally.  Walking into my grandparents’ apartment later that evening and seeing my grandfather all dressed up in a suit – for he had been waiting to go see his beloved wife – stabbed my heart.  My mother expressed that my grandmother had really wanted to see her newest great-granddaughter, my baby, just a little over a month old, and had never gotten to.  I broke down in grief.

Within a week the family gathered to remember this matriarch of our family.  We laughed and we cried.  Six of us – grandchildren and great-grandchildren – were pallbearers.  It was such a cold day – the day we carried the casket out of the church into the waiting hearse.  Snow covered the ground.  We traveled to the cemetery and had a final service in the chapel.  It would be several more years before I went to the gravesite.  When I did return, it would be to visit not only my grandmother and my mom’s baby sister, but also my grandfather, who wasn’t able to go on after the love of his life was gone.  He passed away a year less a day after she did.

Like me, my grandmother was a child of divorced parents.  When I was young and going through the rough patches of my parents animosity, she would always comfort me and tell me she knew what I felt.  As a young child, I used to spend weekends with my grandparents.  I was the youngest of their eight grandchildren – by fourteen years – so to say that I was spoiled by them is an understatement!  In my defense, I never asked for them to spoil me and in their defense, during the time the others were young and growing, my grandparents lived in Germany and were always traveling due to my grandfather’s military duty or for pleasure.  They missed a lot of holidays and birthdays with my siblings and cousins.

Vesta Christena Wilt was born on May 7, 1898 in Noblesville, Indiana to Joseph N. Wilt and Martha Jane Stern.  She was the oldest girl and fourth child.  Another daughter and son followed her.  Before she was 12, her parents had divorced.  Her mother married her widowed brother-in-law, Frank Clawson.  The family moved from Noblesville to Anderson, Indiana and on Easter Sunday 1916 she met the man she would spend the rest of her life with.  Vesta dated Glen Roy Johnson for several months and the two got married at Martha and Frank’s house on Christmas Eve 1916.  The following December their first child, a son named after his father, was born. As the years went by the family added their first daughter, Genevieve, and then a second daughter, Mary (my mother), and lastly baby Lois Evelyn who was born prematurely and died just a little over 2 months later.

 

My grandmother knew her own heartache. She was separated from her beloved Glen for quite awhile while he went to training for the Signal Corps and then went overseas to France during WWI.  She had been separated from her mother and two youngest siblings after Martha moved to Oregon before my mother was born.  She lost a baby and then much later watched her oldest daughter suffer from a brain tumor and ultimately succumb to another inoperable one.  She lost the father that she hadn’t seen for so long without having that estranged relationship mended.  As the years wore on, she watched her youngest daughter struggle and grieve for the end of an almost 30 year marriage.  She lost her mother and three brothers.  She sat by her husband’s hospital bedside for months as he recuperated from a blood cot on his brain that he had suffered in a fall.

Then her health began to fail.  She wasn’t a stranger to health issues – having one ailment and surgery or another throughout her adult life.  But after she broke her elbow in the early 1970s, she was never as healthy as she had been.  All too soon she was experiencing a heart attack every three months.  I was very scared about losing her – not only for myself but for what it would do to my mother. After hospital stays and a change in her diet and medication, it seemed she rallied from the heart issues (although they were still there). 

The family would gather for a surprise birthday we had for her at our house.  She was so surprised when she walked in through the garage to the dining room and most of her family.  Then there was the 60th wedding anniversary celebration at their apartment complex.  Long time friends, church friends, military friends, and the family and extended family came to honor them.  We were only missing one of my cousins and her family.

I moved away for awhile and when I returned back to my hometown, I realized just how she had aged – my grandfather too.  I knew that as the years had ticked by, time was winding down for their life among us.  My grandfather had been the one who had several health issues before I had moved away and I guess I had thought that he might be the one to go first.  Then she was hospitalized and then again several weeks later.  That visit was one she wouldn’t return home from.  I learned later that she had told the apartment manager as the EMTs were wheeling her to the ambulance to make sure her husband would be okay.  Did she know she wouldn’t come home? Did she decide that it would be okay to go if it was her time?

My grandmother – Vesta Wilt Johnson – born on May 7, 1898 – died on January 19, 1984.  My grandfather – Glen Roy Johnson – born November 21, 1898 – died on January 18, 1985.  They were the glue of the family.  There are times during holidays and celebrations, the family left an empty chair – in honor of our grandmother.  Our Beloved Nana – the woman whose “grandmother” moniker I have assumed for my own grandchildren – the woman whom I will never live up to as a grandmother – the woman who is always beside me in times of trouble – smiling and cheering me on.

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The recent election made me wonder which presidents were serving or elected to office during the lifetime of my great-grandmother, Nancy Caylor.  She was born on May 10, 1840 in Wayne County, indiana.  She married Emanuel Bushong Stern, son of Christian and Margaret (Bushong) Stern, on Feb. 6, 1857 at the age of 16.  Between May 1858 and Dec. 1874 the couple had eight children – 4 daughters and 4 sons.  Nancy and Emanuel were divorced before 1900, and Nancy died 4 days before Christmas 1910 at the age of 60 years 7 months 11 days.

Nancy would have been alive through 18 Presidents.

  1. 1837-1871: Martin Van Buren was the President when Nancy was born
  2. March 4 – April 4, 1841: William Henry Harrison was elected President; First President to die in office
  3. 1841-1845: John Tyler succeeded Harrison as President
  4. 1845-1849: James Polk elected President
  5. 1849-1850: Zachary Taylor elected President; died of acute gastroenteritis 16 months into his term.
  6. 1850-1853: Vice President Millard Fillmore succeeded Zachary Taylor upon his death.
  7. 1853-1857: Franklin Pierce was the only President elected from the state of New Hampshire.
  8. 1857-1861: James Buchanan elected President and was the only President to never marry.
  9. 1861-1865: Abraham Lincoln served as President during the Civil War and was the first president to be assassinated while in office.
  10. 1865-1869: Andrew Johnson succeeded to the Presidency after Lincoln’s assassination and was the first president to be impeached.
  11. 1869-1877: Ulysses S. Grant was the first President to serve two full terms since Andrew Jackson.
  12. 1877-1881: Rutherford B. Hayes won the Presidency by one electoral vote.
  13. March 4, 1881-Sep. 19, 1881: James Garfield was assassinated just a few months after taking office.
  14. 1881-1885: Chester Arthur succeeded Garfield
  15. 1885-1889 : Grover Cleveland is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms.
  16. 1889-1893: Benjamin Harrison is the only President from Indiana.
  17. 1893-1897: Grover Cleveland served his second term as President.
  18. 1897-1901: William McKinley was the President serving when Nancy Caylor died.

As of this time of my life, I have been alive through nine presidents (4 Democrats and 5 Republicans)and and one President-Elect (Democrat).  One President, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in office; one President, Richard M. Nixon, resigned before the end of his second term; one President, Gerald R. Ford, was never elected; and one President, Bill Clinton, was impeached but not removed from office.  Four presidents  were “war” time Presidents. 

 presidents1

I often wonder – especially at this time of year when we go to the polls to elect the leaders of our community, city, state, and national government – what opinion my ancestors had of their elected leaders and what they would think about our latest historic campaign and election.

Source for President Information and Pictures: Wikipedia

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Gravestone of my 2nd great-grandmother, Nancy Caylor Stern.  Born May 10, 1840 and died Dec. 21, 1900.  Buried in Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana.  Photo taken by my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson. Original in my possession.

Nancy married Emanual Bushong Stern on Feb. 6, 1857 and they had 8 children: Susannah, Samuel, Margaret (Ellen), John, Daniel, Elias, Martha (my great-grandmother), and Mary between 1858 and 1874.  Nancy and Emanuel divorced before the 1900 Census.

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Yesterday, Jessica, at Jessica’s Genejournal posted this about looking for her German Ancestors since it was German-American day. Unfortunately, I was not able to post about my Germany ancestors so will be a day late with this one.

Most of my ancestors originated from somewhere in Germany (or what is now Germany).  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to pinpoint exact locations.  My great-grandmother, Mary Angelina (Annie) Werts, was descended from Wilhelm Wurtz born in the early 1700′s in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany.  It is located in the Baden-Württemberg area.  Wilhelm traveled via the ship Neptune to Philadelphia.  (Footnote 1)

My great-grandmother, Martha Jane Stern, is descended from Hans Peter Raudenbusch and Maria Bremm.  They were both born in the early to mid 1600s in Reihen, Heidelberg, Germany.  It has been reported that the flour mill that Hans Peter operated through the Thirty Years War is still in operation. It was their grandson, Hans Henrich, who emigrated to Pennsylvania upon the Dragon in 1732. He was a founding member of the Abbottsville, Pennsylvania Upper Conowago Church of the Brethren (Mummert’s Church). After Hans Heinrich’s sons were married, the name went through a variety of changes. My direct ancestor’s name was Roudebush. She was the granddaughter of Hans Heinrich and my 4th great-grandmother. Other name variants include Ruebush, Roudebush.  (Footnote 2 & 3)

My 2nd great-grandmother, Malissa Goul, is the granddaughter of Adam Goul.  As a child, he traveled with his parents and sister, aboard the Rawley, from Frankfurt, Germany to Philadelphia.  It has been reported that he was the only one of his family to live to see America.  The rest perished on board ship.  Frankfurt am Main is the largest city in the German state of Hesse.

Footnote 1: Virts Vertz Virts Virtz Werts Wertz Wirts Genealogy; Gary E. Virts

Footnote 2: Wikipedia; 2008

Footnote 3: Hans Heinrich Raudenbusch, THE RAUDENBUSCH FAMILY; John Robert Frank; 2003

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The Carnival of Genealogy 55th Edition is “Show and Tell”.  “Remember that fun little exercise you used to do in your grade school days? Here’s your chance to do it again. Show us and tell us about an heirloom, a special photo, a valuable document, or a significant person that is a very special part of your family history. Don’t be shy now, show us what you’ve got! This is all about bragging rights so don’t hesitate to make the rest of us green with envy! This is your chance to brag, brag, brag, without seeming like a braggart (you can’t be a braggart when you’re merely following directions ;-)… so show and tell!”  This edition of the Carnival is hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene.

Do to the time constraints I have right now – I will be re-running one of my older posts on “The Christening Gown”.

The Christening Gown (originally published on May 28, 2008)

One of the items that I treasure is the Christening Gown my great-grandmother Katie J. (Blazer) Johnson hand made.  I first saw this gown when I was in high school and needed something that had been passed down through the family for an oral report.  Mom dug it out of the storage trunk and handed me the box.  Inside was this off-white gown and some pictures.  In the old photos were babies wearing this gown: my grandfather – Glen R. Johnson; his son – Glen R. Johnson, Jr.; my aunt – Genevieve; and my mother.  I’m not really sure they were all actually baptized or “christened” in this gown as I have other documents and oral histories about each one being baptized as an older child.

The gown is actually in 2 parts.  The slip which is plain gets put on the baby first and then the “dress” goes over that.  It has hand tatted lace and exquisite handiwork.  There are been some rust stains scattered here and there and Mom actually soaked the dress is carbonated water to remove most of them (old laundry hint!).

The dress remained at my mother’s and when it was time for my nephew’s first child to be baptized, the gown came out of storage and used.  When my first born grandson was to be baptized at six weeks, my mother shipped the box from Ohio to Texas to me.  Then my youngest grandson also wore the gown at 2 months when he was baptized.  The Christening Gown has been worn by 3 out of five generations (I don’t believe any of us – children of my mom, aunt or uncle or our children - have worn the gown).  It truly is a treasure that I will keep for future babies to use.

(Picture is of my youngest grandson wearing the gown at his baptism in October 2006.)

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I believe I’ve mentioned my maternal great-grandmother, Martha Jane Stern, in previous posts.  She was the mother of my mother’s mom, Vesta Christena Wilt.  Martha was born on February 9, 1872 in Clarksville, Hamilton County, Indiana to Emanuel Bushong Stern (descendent of the Stern and Bushong families) and Nancy Caylor (descendent of the Kohler/Caylor and Kinsey families).

When Martha was 18, she married 22 year old Joseph Napolean Wilt in Delaware County, Indiana on September 10, 1890.  Between July 1891 and April 1906, the couple had 4 sons and 2 daughters (it is also reported that they had a son who died at birth – but I have yet to find proper documentation).  My grandmother, Vesta, was the oldest daughter and fourth child.

When the youngest, Clifford, was a little more than two years old, the couple had separated.  I’ve written about the bench warrant that was sworn out for Joe Wilt in “An Early Divorce”. Martha’s sister, Margaret Ellen Stern, had married William Franklin (Frank) Clawson in 1882 but Margaret died in April 1908.  On New Years’ Eve 1910, Frank and Martha married and combined their families. 

The family ran a store in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  When my great-aunt, Nellie, was diagnosed with asthma, Martha and Frank took her and Clifford to Leaburg, Oregon.  My grandmother had already married and they were living with my grandfather’s parents.  It was many years before my grandmother saw her mother again because people just didn’t cross the country for a “visit”.  She took her grandson, my brother, to visit Grandma Clawson (which is what we all called her), when he was just a few years old.  My mom has always said that my brother met Grandma before she did. 

Frank passed away on May 23, 1923 – not too many years after they arrived in Leaburg.  After John returned from WWI, he moved to Oregon to be close to his mother.  Frank’s son, Ralph, also spent time in the Northwest.  Frank’s daughter, Nancy Clawson Welch, had moved to California and died two years before her father. 

I don’t know if Martha’s sons, Jesse and Clarence, ever saw their mother again.  I’ve not heard or read anything that mentions either one of them taking a trip out to Oregon to visit her and I know she didn’t travel east after she’d moved.

Martha died on November 6, 1956 of congestive heart failure.  She was 84 years old.  Funeral services were held at Buell Chapel and she was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Leaburg, Oregon.

I wasn’t able to meet my great-grandmother and only know her through the stories my grandmother and my mom have told me.  I also have several letters she wrote to my grandmother.  She was highly respected by her children and loved very much.

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In my earlier post My Grandmothers, I included a photo of my maternal and paternal grandmothers. At the time that was written, that was the only picture I had of the two of them together. While on vacation at my mom’s house, I pulled out a couple other boxes of photos that I don’t think I’ve looked at for quite awhile, as well as some old photo albums. Lo and behold! I found the following photograph.


I believe this was taken in Coshocton, Ohio when my parents were married in the early 1940′s. I heard of only two instances both sets of grandparents were together – when my mom’s parents and my dad’s mom ended up in Montana for a visit with my parents in 1944 (shown in the photo on the other post) and when my parents were married. So glad that I now have two great pictures of these two women together!

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The theme for the 4th Edition of Smile For the Camera hosted by footnotemaven is “My Favorite Photograph”. “Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that is your favorite family photo or that photograph you’ve collected and wouldn’t give up for a King’s ransom.  Is it the only photograph of an ancestor, is it funny, poignant, or very rare? My favorite photograph is the first one I ever collected. What’s yours? Share it with us! Then get back out in the summer sun.  Your submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!”

Jasia, at Creative Gene, had the same reaction I did – “you’ve got to be kidding!”

I can’t even begin to pick out just one!  With four children and three grandchildren, I have tons of pictures of each of them or a combination that I really love.  I also have several photos of my parents taken early in their marriage that I really like.  However, they divorced over 30 years ago, so it probably isn’t prudent for me to post those.

This photo shows my maternal grandmother, Vesta Wilt, about age 7 and her only sister, Nellie (about age 4).  It’s one of the few photos I have of my grandmother as a child.  As a child, I always wanted my hair to grow really long but having baby fine hair, it never got that long.  I tended to have pretty short hair as a young girl until I got old enough to decide I wanted to let it grow.  My mother always said that I had the same type of hair as my grandmother’s - curly and unmanageable.

The first time I saw this photo, I believe I was a very young teenager.  Many of my grandmother’s friends always told me I looked like her (I still don’t notice that much of a resemblance other than the fly-away hair and blue eyes).  Yet it brought home to me the fact that at one time, my grandmother and great-aunt had been children! 

I often wonder if this studio photograph had been an expense that their parents could hardly afford since they had four other sons to feed as well.  Was this the only photograph taken of my grandmother has a girl?  Had there been others – possibly a family photograph?  Was this taken for a special ocassion?  How long had my great-grandmother spent brushing my grandmother’s hair and getting it fixed just right?

When I look at this photo, I wonder what that young girl was thinking.  Her parents were just a few years away from divorcing; her youngest brother was just a baby; and her mother was pretty religious.  What events were shaping her character and thoughts at that time?  Did she enjoy a carefree childhood or one spent worrying about what the next day would bring?  Was she tasked for “taking care” of her little sister?

One similarity between my grandmother and I, is that I only have one sister too.  However, I’m the younger one and by many more years than these sisters. 

I am also fortunate to have a comparison picture (my grandmother, Vesta, on left).  This pictures shows the two sisters taken over 65 years later.  Even though Nellie spent the latter part of her childhood and teen age years in the West and later went on to marry and raise a family in Washington State and my grandmother (in between traveling with her husband to military posts) resided in the Dayton area, they remained very close all of their lives.  I feel so blessed to have known both of these women pretty well as I grew up and even spent some time with my great-aunt in Washington as a young child.  And I’ve been able to steal glimpses into their relationship through the many letters they wrote to one another. 

So I can’t say that this is my favorite picture out of all the ones I’ve taken, inherited or collected, but it is a photo that I return to time and again in order to see the younger version of my grandmother.  Before life got too difficult.  Before her family split up.  Before she met my grandfather.  Before she became known as a wife, mother, and grandmother.  She was just . . . Vesta.

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So many times when we locate an ancestor they have migrated from where they were born or married or built a home, to another area possibly a great distance away.  What prompts these moves?  What was it they were searching for or hoping to gain by moving?

There are many web sites dealing in reasons including: California Gold Rush, Oregon Trail, the Dustbowl of the 1930s, the Homestead Act of 1862, immigrating from another country in search of a better life, religious persecution, and more.  Today many people move from one locale to another due to a change in occupaton or a relocation, stationed at different spots due to military service, to get out of small towns or big cities, to go to school, and more. 

I thought I would detail some of my ancestors’ migration patterns.  I don’t have enough proof to document the reasons why they moved – just that they did.

Frederick Goul (5th great-grandfather)
Frederick took his wife, son, and daughter by ship (possibly the “Rawley”) from Frankfort, Germany to America in the mid-1700s.  By the time they reached Philadelphia, his wife and daughter had died. 

Adam Goul (4th great-grandfather)
Adam married Elizabeth Lutz in Pennsylvania and several of their children were born there.  They moved to Rockbridge County, Virginia by 1804 and by 1817 had migrated west to Goshen Twp, Champaign County, Ohio.  Adam and Elizabeth are buried at Treacles Creek Cemetery in Champaign County.

John Goul (3rd great-grandfather)
One of Adam’s and Elizabeth’s sons, born about 1802, in Philadelphia, he was with his parents when they moved to Ohio.  About 1823 he married Martha McManaway.  John and his wife didn’t move from Champaign County.

Malissa Goul (great-great grandmother)
Malissa met Franklin Blazer in Champaign County and they married.  The couple moved west to Madison County, Indiana before 1860 and most of their children were born there.  One son, John, and one daughter, Martha (Mat), remained in the area.  Daughter, Katie, grew up in the County and only moved in 1930 with her husband to live with their son in Greene County, Indiana.  Daughter, Rachel, moved west to Missouri and Kansas.  Son, Wesley, moved to Champaign County, Ohio where he married, brought up children and died.

Glen R. Johnson (maternal grandfather)
My grandfather (son of Katie Blazer and John L. Johnson) was born in Anderson, Indiana and never moved away until he was in training for WWI at Ft. Omaha, Nebraska and then on to Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas.  He went to France toward the end of WWI and then returned to his wife, son and home in Anderson.  During his career in the Army Air Corps (later the Air Force), he and his family moved East to Greene County, Ohio.  This is the place they considered home for the remainder of their lives.  Yet they also moved according to the military to Wiesbaden, Germany.  My grandfather also spent some time in Washington D.C., Tullahoma, Tennessee; Finschafen, New Guinea; Orlando, Florida.  Returning to the Dayton area before 1960, he and his wife lived out the remainder of their lives in that area.

Jacob Johnson (3rd great-grandfather)
Jacob was born in New Jersey in 1787.  He moved (probably with his parents and family) by 1816 to the Southeastern section of Ohio in Brown County, Ohio.  His wife’s family (Ann Shields) has also been located in that area.  By 1840 Jacob and family were living in Center Township, Rush County, Indiana, where he spent the remainder of his life.

James Wilson Johnson (great-great grandfather)
He was born in Ohio when his parents, Jacob and Ann, lived in Brown County.  As a child he moved with them to Rush County, Indiana.  In the 1880 Census James and his second wife, Margaret Gordon, are living in Stoney Creek Twp, Madison County, Indiana.  James spent some time in Michigan in his later years living with each of his daughter’s and their families.  He moved one last time – when he was buried in Little Blue River Cemetery in Rush County, Indiana.

John Mullis and Dolly Stanley (3rd great grandfather and mother)
In-laws of James Wilson Johnson, they moved from Wilkes County, North Carolina before 1838 to Rush County, Indiana.

Perhaps as I continue with my research, I will discover the reason why these people moved from one area (or country) to another.  It has just been quite interesting to see their migration patterns.

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This is the only picture I have of both of my grandmothers together and not with anyone else.  The lady on the left is my maternal grandmother, Vesta Christina Wilt Johnson.  I knew her as Nana.  Grandma Amore (Ella Marie House) passed away fifteen years before I was born.  In fact I don’t even know if that’s what her other grandchildren called her.  In our house she was referred to as Mom Amore (by my mother).  It seems odd that I think of her as “Ella” or as my dad’s mom instead of as my grandmother.

They are together in this picture because they both were in Montana to see my parents while my Mom was pregnant with my sister.  Apparently my grandfather, Lloyd Amore, didn’t want to fly out there.

Nana lived until I was 22 so I knew her very well.  I never remembered that she was that tall though; probably due to her osteoarthritis as her age advanced and she seemed “shorter”.  She always had a smile on her face – even through her many hospitalizations later on.  Nana always had a stash of kid friendly candy and cookies.  She was a good cook and had sewn quite a bit.  Since she and my grandfather had lived in many different places and she had traveled extensively, their home was decorated with beautiful artwork and figurines.  She had a prized Hummel collection that I loved to look at.  Nana always thought the best about people.  She tried to find that one small thing within each person that made them unique and special.  She loved all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren the same – yet she loved each of us as if we were the only one.  One of the best gifts she ever gave me was the knowledge that no matter what I did, where I went or who I became, she would always love me unconditionally.  At a time in my teenage years when nothing could go right and I was always doing something wrong, that knowledge kept me from going over the deep end.  She only got to meet one of my children and saw a picture of my second daughter days before she died.  Yet I know that she is my guardian angel and is looking down on me and my family.  I don’t know how she’d feel about me reading the love letters she wrote to my grandfather before they were married, but somehow I think she’d get a twinkle in her eye and tell me that she had to maintain some type of mystery – even from her children and grandchildren – about what a passionate woman she was.  Nana didn’t have to lecture.  She taught by example and by her love.  And for that I will always be grateful.

Grandma Amore is more than a woman of mystery since I never met her or felt her grandmother’s love.  My dad thought the world of his mother and I think, as her “baby”, she probably spoiled him a little.  I wish I could find a colored picture of her because I’ve been told her hair was auburn.  My cousins (much older than me) have never really told me any stories about our grandmother for me to form any sort of opinion.  I guess I don’t feel her loss because she was never a part of my life.  I often wonder what was going through her mind when she learned she had breast cancer.  I also wonder that if the technology of today was around in the 1940’s if it could have saved her life.  Would her survival have changed the course of my father’s life?  Would it have impacted mine in a more dramatic way? 

I’m just glad that with this picture, there is a snapshot of my grandmother’s together.  That even though I only grew up knowing one, I still had two.  Possibly Ella’s been looking down on me as well.

Thank you, Nana and thank you, Grandma Amore, for the legacies you’ve left through your children and all those family members who knew you.

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