1920 was a leap year that began on a thursday. it was an election year, in which woodrow wilson handed over the presidency to warren harding, who would die of a heart attack 2 years into his term. it was also the year, in august, that american women were granted the constitutional right to vote. it would be 96 years, however, until women would be given the chance to vote for one.
november 13th, 1920, was a saturday. there have been 35,064 days since that day, and 1,187 full moons (the next one is tomorrow). the hudson river was frozen at albany, and that was all that was notable about that day according to onthisday.com. on wikipedia, they find it interesting that over 100,000 people, both military and civilian, evacuated the crimea on russian imperial navy ships that day.
but for me, this specific day changed my life. because it was on this day, in baltimore, maryland, that a woman given the 8th most popular name of that year was born; elizabeth. she was the 5th of what would ultimately be 14 children. she would one day marry a man named joseph, and they would have three daughters. the youngest of those babies would some day marry and have two daughters of her own. and the oldest of those daughters would be me.
today in 2016, my grandmother elizabeth post nee hartman, is 96 years old. i am not there to celebrate with her, but i’ll be there in a few days, and today i am thinking about her a lot. in fact, i have been thinking about her a lot all week. she is one of the sassiest people… no wait, the sassiest person… i have ever known. it’s usually hilarious and sometimes rotten, and according to my mom it didn’t come with age. liz was born that way.
mostly she picks on you, but if anyone else would try the same they’d feel the wrath. her love is the definition of tough. she is the definition of tough. after falling earlier this year and being admitted to the hospital, she walked down the hall faster than i could to prove she was ok and should be sent home. that’s just how she rolls. if she can’t hear you talking, she might assume it’s a good time to start a story of her own. and by story i mean dirty joke. i’ve been handed a baggy of hard stale mini marshmallows every winter for as long as i can remember, with a label explaining that it’s snowman poop. i can’t help laugh every time. it’s not even a new baggy, you guys. it’s the same baggy from 1989. i have no idea how she keeps track of it in the house where she lives alone, and has kept everything she’s ever owned for the past 1,087 full moons. everything except the countless hats and scarfs and booties she knits for nicu babies and the homeless. and for us.
anyway, there are many stories i could tell. stories i myself have heard let’s say more than once 😉 but this isn’t the point. the point is “there’s a pleasure in being reminded of the value of ordinary life” (karen t walker). her ordinary life has been extraordinary to me. i am so fortunate to have had her in my life for another year. so lucky that she attended my wedding in august, wedge clogs and all, lighting every sparkler she could grab.
happy 96th birthday, gram. i love and admire you so.