Friday, March 20, 2009


In 1907, Dorothy was born, the same day as Gene Autry. During that year, the first vacuum cleaner was built, as well as the color photograph was created. The LRMS Lusitania sailed its maiden voyage. Pike Place market in Seattle opened. The Mud March, the first large procession organized by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), took place in London. Mark Twain received an honorary doctorate of laws degree from Oxford University. Hershey's kisses were created!

There is a lot I do not know about her. We lived very far from her during a good chunk of my life, so I can't really recall ever sitting down and just chatting with her. Also, she was not the sort of person who cottoned to silliness. If you wanted to lollygag about on a day off from work, she would chase you out the door saying "it's a beautiful day; go do something."

My grandmother was a strong woman. Her husband died when she was fairly young, still, and she worked to support herself & her two children when there weren't many women in the regular workforce. She worked until her 80's when she moved to live with my mother in Florida, but she still took care of people, even then.

We had her in our lives for a very long time, and it's going to be strange for her to NOT be there. I know my mom is already missing her. Last winter Grandma became confused and needed to be hospitalized. Basically, I think that Grandma had finally decided she was done and she took off on a walk in the early morning hours, headed somewhere with five dollars and armed with pictures of my children when they were teeny babies.

In the nursing home, she would take the velcro strap they place on older folks so the nurses can move them around in an orderly fashion and swing it at the nurses when she didn't want to do something. I can see it now-- weilding her velcro strap better than Lara Croft's whip, letting those nurses know they'd been OWNED.

There will be more that I will write about this, and I'm in the middle of gathering photos & memories from family members for a digital scrapbook. We will have a family gathering this summer to mark her passing (she's being cremated, and we'll scatter her ashes around then, as well.) But for now, tonight, if you think of how you couldn't even begin to imagine the world without Hershey's kisses, which have just always been there, you can imagine how there is a hole in the universe. However, that hole can be filled with the love and faces and lives of the family, including four generations of kids, that is still here.

We never really die-- we just move to other forms. Right now, I'm certain my grandmother is having a reunion with the man she never got over, holding her son in her arms again, and visiting with all the family she has in that place. And when we see her again, she'll be that feisty old German woman who used to bake cookies and cakes and chase us out into the sunshine. It's a beautiful day. Go do something with it!