Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Birthday # 94 Dorothy O Cary

January 29 will be my mom’s 94th birthday. She was born in 1918 in Ottumwa, Wapello County, Iowa to Ralph O Cary and Hazel Windle. I am about the only living person that remembers her as a young woman. I am sure she has cousins alive that remember her, but I don’t know them at all. And I have cousins alive that remember her, but I don’t know where they are. Only one is older than I am, and I am not sure he is still alive. The point is that the people that can remember her at all are very limited. This is the lesson and the joy of genealogy, keeping someone’s memory alive. It is only when we are forgotten that we are gone.

My mom had me when she was seventeen years old, so I remember her when she was very young. I saw her struggle in an unhappy marriage to my dad. I saw her struggle to support me and my brother when we were alone. I saw her struggle to find a job and get us settled into an apartment we would call home for a couple of years. I didn’t ever sense that she had any help from anyone, maybe she did, unknown to me, but I don’t think so. She handled all of these things before she was thirty years old.

The picture is of her in December 1950 when she married my stepfather, Laurel L Evelyn. Now, I look at that picture and I see how young she was, and she had already lived a hard life. Her marriage to Laurel was a godsend and she could relax at last because he loved her and he loved me and David as well, so finally she had a nice life. Not perfect, of course, but so much better.

She died March 14, 2003 at age eighty-five. She lived a full and good life and lived it to the fullest up until her death. She was the most optimistic person I have ever known, always calm in the face of challenges. Her faith in God was unfailing, I wish I had her strong faith.

What I miss most is that I can never go home now. Wherever my mom lived was home to me. She created that feeling in all kinds of places. Places that ranged from little house trailers, to basement apartments, to big 3 bedroom houses. I don’t think she was aware of it, it just happened due to her presence.

Can you tell? I miss her very much. But I am so grateful that I had her for sixty seven years. I will never quit loving her. Happy Birthday Mom, I love you. Patty

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