It probably didn’t seem so amazing to most folks, but to my maternal grandparents it was most amazing. Their first child was born. Dorothy Olive Cary was born January 29, 1918 at 11:30 am. She was born at 47 S. Webster Street, Ottumwa, Wapello County Iowa. The doctor was Dr. H Vinson. He also delivered her two siblings, as well as, me and my brother, David Vinson Craig. It was the day of a family doctor becoming quite well acquainted with a family. They were actually a revered member of the family.
Her father was Ralph O Cary age 24 and her mother was Hazel Belle Cary age 21. They were a young couple that was just starting off on a wonderful and long lived adventure. I can imagine the excitement they felt at this birth. Probably Elizabeth Windle, her maternal grandmother, was in attendance to assist her daughter. Olive Sanford Cary, her paternal grandmother had died the year before. She had asked her son to include the name Olive in his first child’s name. This was the reason for mom’s middle name.
She was born during the war to end all wars – WWI. This was the hope of the day, but as we know did not come to fulfillment. How many have we endured since then? Her Uncle Forrest Cary was in WWI and I have a picture of him when he came home on leave and her mother is holding my mom in the picture.
Her parents were hard working and loving and caring. She had a normal childhood for a person born at that time. She took piano lessons, learned to swim early and became excellent in that sport. She had many girlhood friends and scores of cousins, all living in Ottumwa and the surrounding area. She was beautiful, and as usual, at about age 14 started noticing boys.
She noticed a particularly handsome one named Gerald Vuhr Craig. I mean “drop dead” handsome. He was the brother of her girlfriend and classmate, Gwen Craig. This was the start of a young romance that ended up in marriage on November 24, 1934 in Kirksville, Adair County, Missouri. No, they didn’t travel a long distance when they married. Kirksville, Missouri was just over the Iowa/Missouri border and was the place young people went to get married. Missouri didn’t require parent’s permission to marry, so it was very popular for a long time as the “run away and get married” place in the area. In 1942, her sister, Ruth Marian, went there to get married to Del Howard.
She was to become, seventeen years later, my mother. And that is why so many people are alive today, two children, four grandchildren, three great grandchildren, five great great grandchildren.
Eighty five years later she died on March 14, 2003. So much happened during those eighty five years, that you will have to read some of my other writings to catch it all. I was always proud to be her daughter and I loved her very much. Was life perfect? Of course it is not intended to be perfect, but she sure did make it a lot nicer.
I miss her, and will always remember our last visit in mortality. I went to Gering, Nebraska to be with her on her 85th birthday. We didn’t do any dramatic things, we just enjoyed being together. As I left to return home a few days later, as I backed out of their driveway I looked in the rear view mirror and as usual, she was standing at the corner of their garage. Watching until I was out of sight. As if to say, “I am with you as you travel on.”
She is still watching me as I travel on. The mother child bond is not easily broken, least of all by death. Join me in celebrating a life that added life to so many people. Happy 99th Birthday Mom. Patj