It is Florence's birthday. In my own search for home and art and a life that looks like both, the day always offers reminders of both her ferocious hope and her denial of anything but success.
Originally posted in November 24, 2009
Not really knowing the circumstances of her birth on November 24, 1923 or 4, I have no idea if she was celebrated when she arrived.
Possibly not. Her father was a World War 1 veteran who wasn't very nice and her mother, erudite, educated, multi-lingual, worked as a practical nurse because as an immigrant and refugee from Russia, it was what she could do.
Her father not much in the picture in between hospital stays and abusive behavior, resources her mother had went toward the basics and then Florence's music lessons.
Poverty and unhappiness perhaps didn't lend itself to birthday parties with pretty cakes but stories of how much could be done with so little offer some hope that maybe there were birthdays she really enjoyed.
It was her 65th birthday that my sister did it up right with Florence's first birthday cake. A real cake with icing and flowers and her name and candles to blow out. As it wasn't something we ever got as kids, giving her this cake was a big deal. I found the candles - a 6 and a 5 - in a drawer of one of her tables when we cleaned out her house.
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