Thursday, November 25, 2010

Special Encore: I Hear It Was Her Birthday

November 24 would have been Florence's 87th or 86th Birthday.

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.


Anonymous said...

You know that the occasion really meant somethng to her if she kept and cherished those candles. Our parents came up through tough times and didn't allow themselves much in the way of celebrations and fun. Your sister and yourself did a wonderful thing for your mom at her 65th birthday.

c.o. moed said...

So true and something as simple or small as a birthday cake with your name on it means way more than realized. I have to give all credit to my sister for such a wonderful party. However, I did give Florence the very cool smoking jacket she is wearing.

bucko said...

That Florence couldn't abandon those candles to her trash is huge--they clearly were prized. My mother also kept mementoes from festivities, as well as programs from concerts, maps from national parks, menus from special places. (They clogged her drawers.) And she kept candles, still smeared with icing.