Friday, October 1, 2010

Grandma Dorothy

My grandma Dorothy is the most beautiful woman in the world. I am not just saying that just because I kinda look like her! Her beauty is inside and out.  Her life ambition is to make the world a better place for everyone no matter their background, race, income or social standing.

She had a tough life starting out. As one of the only German families to settle in Steptoe, they were very discriminated against. She soon found out it was the wrong thing to tell her mother that the other kids called her 'the dirty dutchman' because that just caused her mother to use more soap and scrub her harder on bath night! Her mother, Emily, didn't understand that dirty dutch man didn't have anything to do with soil and she would exclaim to Gram "but WHY- we are not Dutch!"

One of her great honors, that she talks about, was being crowned The May Queen. She finally felt that she was starting to be accepted.  Gram was very skilled in sports. I might have got her looks but I sure didn't pick up her athletic ability.
She was kind of a hellion.
 THAT I might have got from her!
Gram's teenage years were ones of turmoil. At 17, one of her teachers noticed she was putting on weight.  The teacher brought Gram home to have a talk with her parents. After a heated discussion it was discovered that Gram was 8 1/2 months pregnant! She had no idea because female matters and sex were never discussed in the home.  When she began menstruating at 16 she was convinced she was dying and confided in a teacher that she didn't need to finish her school work because she soon would be dead.
Imagine the teachers surprise when she had to give THAT lesson!
Grams father refused to allow her to stay so it was off to 'the unwed mother's home' in Spokane.
 It was here that she finished school and received her diploma.
It was also where she learned she truly loved 'the icky neighbor boy'.
My grandpa, Cloy Harvey, grew up near Gram.
  His grandmother, Maggie Jackson, was the midwife that delivered Gram!
But growing up, he was just the icky neighbor boy.
In one of Grams autograph books, Cloy wrote the poem
"Roses are red, Violets are blue, Piggies stink and so do......".
I know he was 10 years old at the time, but that's just mean!! 
  When Gram was at the unwed mothers home, It was Cloy who came to visit and check on her.
 It was Cloy that never shunned her.
 It was Cloy that offered to marry her, even though the child was not his.
Gram grew to love him so much that she told him that she could not
start out a life together with him having to bear her burdens.
 So on December 7th 1941 (Yes, the day of Pearl Harbor) Gram gave birth to a little girl that she called Linda Louise. She was born 11 days after everyone (and Gram) realized she was pregnant!
She had decided to give the baby up for adoption knowing she would never
 be able to protect her from small town slings and arrows.
She raised her for six weeks and with heartfelt sorrow, handed her over to a childless family.
 One baby picture, that Gram has clung to for many years, is that of Linda Louise.
Skip ahead many years, after she married Cloy, after she gave birth to my dad-
 Richard and the girls, Marie and Susie.
Skip ahead to one day, five years or so ago, and the phone rings and the voice on the other end says
 "Are you Dorothy Suess? I think you might be my mother."
Grams heart swelled with joy. Linda had found her!!
Linda was now almost 60 and her adopted parents had passed away
and she had learned the truth about her birth.
 So with open arms we have welcomed Linda into the family.
 It makes me so happy that Linda is able to know the most beautiful woman in the world, like I do.

I love you Gram and hope I can be half the wife, sister, mother and grandma that you are.


ebredehoeft said...

Awesome hearwarming post Carol!!!!

Ann Porteous said...

That brought tears of joy to my eyes! wonderful story! I luv your grandma dorthy too!!

Wendy said...

Carol, that is a wonderful post. My how things have changed since your grandma was young. How it must have broken her heart to give up a baby after caring for it for 6 weeks. Ouch. And how wonderful that her daughter found her. Quite the story.

tvd19 said...

Gram is truly an amazing woman and I hope to be half the person she is. I love gram with all my heart. Thank you for sharing her with me, mom, and now Sam. Love you and love gram!