My Gram was born 11/14/06 - or 05 depending on which of her sisters you spoke to. She was a strong independent woman and had ideas that were way before her time.
She was born in a small town on the German-Russian Border and came to this country when she was 3 and spoke not a word of English. She had 16 brothers and sisters and was the third youngest of this gaggle of children, as her mother used to call them.
At the ripe old age of 15 she found herself pregnant..now remember this is around 1920, so of course she was going to have to marry the father according to her parents. She had the baby and never did marry the father. I asked her once why she never married my uncle's dad and she promptly - without hesitation told me " I found out he was a lying, cheating weasel and I would sooner have married a snake! Roughly three years later she did get married to what would be the love of her life, my Grampa Pete. They had my mother and life was good until times got hard and my Grampa decided to take it out on her....around 1941...my Grampa decided to come home with too much liquor in him and too little sense. He hit her....she got even...he went to sleep with his shoes on...she tied them as tight as she could and left his feet to swell all night long!
In the morning he never said a thing and neither did she....again life was good for about three years. He again came home liquored up...she was on her knees scrubbing the floor....he smacked her up side the head...she came up off the floor with the bucket swinging...hit him full on in the face with it..he fell....she packed up my mom and her and never once looked back..........strong and independent does even begin to touch that one. Courage in the face of what this country was going through at that time...her strength was amazing. The funny thing about these two, is that they never stopped loving each other...they just couldn't live together.
My Gram was my pillar through out my life. Many times when I was very young we would sit on our front porch - hold hands and talk about everything imaginable. There wasn't anything I couldn't talk to my Gram about. When I was 10 and contracted TB from a kid at school...it totally freaked my Mom out....it was my Gram who went to every appointment...held my hand through all the treatment and never complained that she had to do it.
My Gram had the most wonderful sense of humor, spoke German when she was mad at something, and loved my brothers and me with all her heart.
In closing this post...I believe there is a song that says something to the effect that if you had one more day with someone you love...what would you do with it...........I would spend the day sitting on the porch holding her hand and telling her how much I loved her.
Happy Birthday Gram.....I love you.