Thinking of warmer days

Cannoli planning to take a flight to Florida until Spring…

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Ancestral doppelgänger

Ella Phillips was born in 1850 in Massachusetts. She moved to Wisconsin as a child where she later married (and divorced) twice and had three daughters. Ella disappeared prior to 1910 when she moved to Washington State with her third husband.

A few years ago, I acquired a copy of a tintype photo (circa 1860s) of Ella from a distant relative in Iowa. I was taken back by my mother’s resemblance to her long-lost great-grandmother. I showed the photo to my mother and she soon began showing interest in her family history.

I brought the photo to my grandfather and asked him to identify the woman in the photo. He responded, “It’s Donna.” I asked him to look again at the photo but he only recognized the woman as his daughter. I told him that the woman in the photo was his grandmother. This photo gave me the opportunity to ask him questions about the family and also to share with him the family secrets that had been kept from him.

I continue to search for the elusive Mrs. Williams in Washington until I find her.

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A Face in the Crowd

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Remembering Mom

She was outspoken, impulsive and had “attitude.” She was always ready to put up a fight for something she believed in. Our personalities couldn’t have been more different.

She was married and divorced twice. Over the years, she lived in various states but ended where she began – in the Midwest.

I left home at age 19 to join the Navy. Over the years, Mom and I kept in touch and travelled to see each other as much as possible considering the distance between us.

Mom was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in 2016.  We made the most of our time with her in her last year of life.  Mom passed away in December 2017.

Today would have been Mom’s 75th birthday.  I had never thought about life without my mother.  I never thought I’d miss her so much.






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Variations on a theme

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