This is a picture of my mom, with her mom (my granny) and her sisters. My mom is the one on the end in the white sweater and dark scarf around her neck. From left to right, Aunt Sue, Aunt Dottie, Granny, Aunt Elsie, and Mama. Don't they look like they were just having so much fun? I wonder what they were saying and laughing about. They look so happy and so silly. I'm guessing this picture was taken probably in the late 40's or very early 50's.
I come from a family of very independent women. My grandmother was fiercely independent, very artistic, and I think way ahead of her time. She was a painter, photographer, and ran away from home at 17 years old to marry a full blooded Cherokee indian. Can you imagine the scandal at that during the days of early 1900's? She eventually married two more times after her first husband. Two of my favorite memories from her are the rose garden she tended in our backyard, and the smell of her oil paints and turpentine from her studio upstairs in our home. To this day the smell of paints and turpentine whisk me away in a second, back to that room and among all the colors of her palette and on her table.
My mom was also creative, a photographer, writer of historical romances (we always teased her about writing smut novels) and could draw beautiful pictures. She loved drawing with just pencil. She loved all animals, big and small, and we always had a house full of dogs, cats, sometimes even bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters and even a chicken or two. She loved good books and instilled in me a love of reading and old books. She was so excited when home computers and the internet came along. She was writing her books on a word processor long before any of us even had home computers. And she was on bulletin boards and in chat rooms before I even knew what they were. She was cool like that. All my friends loved her. And later, after she died, I had friends that came up to me and shared secrets they had shared with my mom, things she had done to help them during difficult times in their lives, that she had never even shared with me, nor had my friends told me. I was amazed at her compassion that extended beyond what my family was blessed to know, and that my friends had come to know.
My mom would have been 75 years old today. I've always felt she left us way to soon, so full of life and vivacious. But I like knowing she's in heaven, and on my side up there, probably shaking her head in amusement and agreeing with God about some of the crazy things I do, and most especially about my hard headedness and stubbornness, probably laughing and getting a big kick out of me too. I hope so.
Happy Birthday Mama!