I will tell you one thing that makes me smile: ( am smiling right now thru my tears):
When she was young in Chicago in the bootlegging days of Al Capone.----- Yes, she remembers ole Scarface Al walking the streets, all dapper and people LOVED HIM.....She was in awe and fear of him. She remembers how he ran that town with an iron fist, always winning over others by giving to the right charitable causes. People loved, feared, and fell in love with Al Capone she said. She glanced him MANY times as one of his gal pals lived near her.
She remembers making bathtub gin and the backdoor speakeasies---(none of which she ever went to, wink-wink). she remembers dancing her legs off at the parties during the roaring 20s when she was very young....
Oh yes they were fun times,she said....
She saw the WWs; came to the USA before WWII and Hitler's reign of terror. She emigrated from Austria in her young teens, learned English very quicky and went to work as a secretary to support her non-English speaking family. She worked hard but played hard, too. She survived the Great Depression by working twice as hard as ever. She told so many stories I can't even fill up the bandwidth here to tell. She was something else.
She was a tough, demanding old bird (driving both my parents mad/crazy at times)---- married to Grampa for 63 years before he passed in 1996. She was sharp til about a year ago when she apparantly had TIAs affecting her thinking and personality. (TIAs tend to bring out some very nasty traits in my experience and she was no different) . As much as I do NOT get along with my parents, I have to admire them being there for her til the end---they saw to it she did not get dumped in some nursing facility they did approve of. They tried to keep her independent as possible til she was unable to be. I was not there to see this much, living in Seattle, so I was spared some tough times my family back home had to deal with.
I guess you can say I have it easy....
Bu most of all!!!!! I will always, always remember her letters to me in USAF basic training, when my family had disowned me. She said:
"I know you and you will make us proud. You will someone important and do great things. I believe in you and I love you. Stay strong". Those letters sustained a 19 year old girl thru some tough times in her initial days/weeks of military training and service, 1500 miles from home.
Anyhow thank you for permitting me to share memories of her. It does help and feel cathartic somehow. Take care and thanks for your thoughts; you are a great group. And I have diarrhea of the mouth. sorry