Friday, August 3, 2012

In case anyone wonders where I get it from...

Yesterday would have been my grandmother's 85th birthday.

She's been gone now for almost eleven years. Some of my last pictures of her include my son, then just a baby.  The only great grandchild she'd ever meet.

I think about her often, probably more so in the last year than in the prior ten combined.  Her lessons have taught me to be strong, to put on a happy face, to persevere, to keep going.  To go out into an unfair world where terrible things happen, with my head held high. And to do it with flair and fabulousness.

She never left the house without her lipstick, and taught me from a young age to appreciate shoes and handbags.  I come by it honestly.

She was an only child raised during the Depression.  To say that she had a lonely and solitary existence growing up would be a vast understatement.  Her father, her center.  Her mother, often her enemy.

That would never change, and she would spend most of her life coping with the fact that her mother never quite loved her or approved of her, accepted or even liked her.  She was resilient though, and knew that for a girl in the 40's, she'd have to get married to escape her life.

There weren't a whole lot of other options for someone like her, particularly given the repressive nature of her upbringing.

Her name was Dolores, but everyone called her Doll.  And she was one.  She had creamy porcelain skin and always, always, always wore red lipstick.  (though I have to assume she snuck that for most of her adolescence as her mother would never have approved) She had dark brown, almost black hair.


She was gorgeous.

Her most favorite thing in the world to do was go dancing, and it was there that she met the man she'd marry.  These are some of the pictures of their courtship, and give so much insight to who she really was.  Who she wanted to be.

Yep.  We're related.

She was so in love with this man.

A few months before they married.

These pictures also go pretty far to explain how I got to be the way that I am.

I miss you, Grandma Doll.  I'm sure you spent your birthday dancing in heaven with Pap, so I know it was a good one.  xoxo

4 comments:

  1. She was gorgeous. As are you. I do see where you get your fierceness. And you're passing it on.

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  2. Grandma Doll was a very special person who instilled in her children and grandchildren an incredible love of life - even through the toughest times - she stood strong and Loved Pap, Dan, Kelly, Gary, Rachel, Stephanie an myself with every ounce of her being A trait passed on from her to me to you Kelly. She was and you and I are strong resilent women. Nothing keeps us down for long - we look at the glass as half full - we carry on with our lipstick on, our nails done our clothes just right and a smile on our face no matter what we are feeling on the inside. What a priveledge to be her offspring - to have learned so much from her - mainly to always be a lady. I finished setting the dining room here today - a combination of her and I. Her dining room table and china cabinet,her buffet server, my china cabinet and china all sitting on one of her handmade crocheted tablecloths. A fitting tribute to a very special lady. I know she rests in peace with Pap by her side and someday I join Gary and them in the land of gold.

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  3. what a cool lady! :-) love the photos! <3

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