Memoir Bytes – Miss Toronto 1926 – My Grandmother

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Memoir Bytes:

Vision perception

Memoir

 

I’ve written a lot in my books about my relationship with my mother and had touched on tidbits about her mother, my grandmother Dorothy who died shortly after my mother’s 15th birthday .

 

My mother had a knack for ‘expanding the truth’ whenever she chose to share a snippet of her life, so as I got older and caught on to her delusional stories, I had to do my own searching around for truth, mostly from my aunts while they were still living. But luckily, my sister-in-law, Katy, is a great FBI sleuth herself. She obviously found our erratic and dysfunctional family history fascinating when she married my brother and conducted her own search and found out much more than even I was told.

 

One story in particular was about my grandmother apparently, winning the very first Miss Toronto Beauty Contest in 1926 held at Sunnyside Amusement Park. Pictured below is my grandmother standing as a runner up to the far right. The story told to me by mother was that her mother had actually won the contest and was deemed the first Miss Toronto until she was disqualified and became a runner up when it was discovered that she was married when she entered. This of course turned out to be another lie my mother loved to boast about because of course if her mother didn’t win, there had to be a reason. In the photo my grandmother was 21 years old. (Late correction, either the newspaper got it wrong, or my grandmother fibbed about her age because she was only 17 in the pageant)

Miss Toronto beauty pageant 1926

My grandmother, Dorothy (nee) Asling , far right, sporting a bob hairdo. Photo was sent to me from the Toronto Star Newspaper.

 

Back in the day, being skinny wasn’t a factor required to either enter or win a beauty contest. And despite my mother telling her tall tales, anybody who knew my grandmother had told me she was considered a striking beauty. In fact, Katy sent me this article clipping from an interview the Toronto Star did with my grandmother before the final competition when it was down to 5 contestants.

 

This is all I know of my grandmother, from how she spoke in the article interview in this post I can almost hear that little air in her voice that my mother had of herself. Dorothy was apparently a very popular girl who had many men vying for her attention, and although she tried to sound modest and naive in this article, I could hear my own mother in her words, particularly in the paragraph where the journalist seemed to detect the same thing when they thought Dorothy knew well that this would be printed.

Dorothy Asling interview Miss Toronto 1926Β Article interview with Dorothy Asling from Toronto Star Newspaper August 16, 1926, journalist unknown. From the archives.

 

I’ve heard so many controversial stories about the life of my grandmother and have had to make my own deductions from comparing versions of stories my mother told me and relaying them back to my aunts for verification and authentic versions. Apparently, my grandmother was a real live wire, who, according to this article, may not have smoked, but loved to drink, party and gamble. She was the life of all parties, and the complete opposite of what I know of my grandfather, who was meek and mild mannered, and a very handsome man. Dorothy was the love of his life and he never married again because he never stopped loving her.

 

I notice similarities in Dorothy’s physical stature to my mother and some of her siblings.

 

My mother was a dark beauty like her mother and she even had the same mole on her left cheek, which she emphasized with a black kohl eyeliner as it appears her mother did too. Back when I was a child I remembered that mole as my mother’s ‘signature’ beauty mark.

 

Another prominent feature of my grandmother was her ‘thick’ upper arms. I wrote in humor in my book, Menowhat? A Memoir, about the women in our family nicknamed ‘the arm family’, which I had crowned the name to all of us – sister, female cousins and aunts, because no matter how slim any of us could be, we all had thick upper arms. Thank you grandmother Dorothy, not.

 

I’ve never seen another photo of my grandmother other than this photo that my Aunty Sherry ordered copies of years ago from our Toronto newspaper to give one to each of her nieces. So naturally, I’ve looked at it a million times and analyzed the heck out of it.

 

My sister-in-law Katy had done research on my family tree and had obtained copies of my mother’s lineage when she got curious about the ongoing lie my mother had told me and stood true to till the day she died, that I wasn’t conceived out of wedlock, and that her mother was Jewish. In fact, Katy had given me a copy of my parents’ marriage licence she obtained, confirming my suspicion that my mother was indeed 2 months pregnant with me when she married my father. I was also flabberghasted to find that in the little box where they tick off and state their religion, my grandmother was born and raised as a Baptist. I’d already obtained confirmation from my aunts on these factors, but looking at the actual document was a confirming piece of my family history.

 

There were so many tales spun by my mother to create dramatic effect to every story she told. And still, I truly believe her stories were not only to attract wow factors or sympathy, but also that she had spent her life creating stories to the point where I honestly believe she believed her own stories. She had such a dire need to be more than what she was.

 

Below are a few photos I plucked out of an old photo album – the women in my life as well as 2 more clippings of Dorothy that my sister-in-law managed to get copies of.

 

 

D.G. Kaye at 2 yrs old

Me at 2 years old. I’m thinking the look on my face says something about my mood and environment.

 

My mother at my Sweet 16

The ‘dark’ beauty, my mother at my Sweet 16

 

Me and Aunty Shirley my Sweet 16

My hero, my beautiful Aunty Sherry (Shirley) at my Sweet 16 having a toast together

 

My beautiful Aunty Lee

My beautiful Aunty Lee at my Sweet 16

 

Dorothy Asling Miss Toronto runner up

Dorothy Asling my grandmother, 2nd from the right.

 

Dorothy Asling interviewed

A ‘popular entry’ Dorothy Asling

 

Sadly, all I know of my grandmother is from these articles, and they are the only photos I’ve ever seen of her. Had she not been a beauty contestant, I wouldn’t even know what she looked like.

 

 

 

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89 Comments

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  1. The women in your family – all striking beauties – and apparently live wires too, including you, Debby. I want to cuddle that sad little 2-year-old and tell her all will be well. Thank you for inviting us into this walk down memory lane.

    1. Lol, thank you Marian. Oh, no doubt, I must have inherited my grandmother’s spitfire personality. But gratefully, I learned a lot more about the world, people, and enough life lessons to become a blacksheep. And I’m quite content doing so. Thanks for the cuddle offers. I was grateful for my Aunty Sherry who was like a mother to me. πŸ™‚

  2. What a lovely post! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for reading Stevie. πŸ™‚

  3. Debby this was such an interesting read.. So enjoyed learning more about the history of your family.. And your Grandmother indeed a beauty.. And yes as you say perhaps from where your own Mother found her chip off the old block as they say..

    Loved seeing that Two year old YOU. Yes, not a happy look.. Wonderful that you have such a sleuth of an investigator too in your midst LOL.. πŸ™‚ and you have these as memories of your Grandmother..

    Sending Love and Hugs my friend.. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful weekend πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much Sue, for reading and leaving your comments on my little slice of nostalgia, lol. Sending you back love and hugs and a happy week ahead. πŸ™‚ <3

      1. Hugs received cherished and returned ten fold.. <3

  4. Fascinating bit of family history Debby. My great grandfather on my father’s side was a real character and lived to the ripe old age of 90. Perhaps his love of the ladies, and walking for miles, (one time he went missing and it turned out he was walking all the way from Edinburgh rail station to his home – several miles – at 90!) We have some photos and my dad’s fond memories of him.

    1. Wow Marje, thanks for sharing that story. Maybe he walked all that way for a date? Lol. πŸ™‚

      1. From what dad told me that’s not beyond the realms of possibility!

        1. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  5. Fascinating, Debby. I’m always intrigued by how the stories of a person’s life often don’t match the reality, or the reality as observed by others. That occurs in my family too, to a great degree. What I find interesting with my relatives is that the stories take a huge hold and become the “truth” even for the person who didn’t do the things he/she is credited with doing. The brief glimpse at your grandmother’s life is insightful. I’m glad you have some photos and stories about her. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Diana. Often people’s memories are the way they were taught the stories, or preferred to remember their stories. Writing in memoir is ‘our truth’, also the way we remember it. But facts should always be checked. Because if the stories are a mere creation then it is not memoir. I spent much of my life observing my family and trying to extract truths about stories wherever I could. I’m happy that my sister-in-law shared the same curiosity for verifying stories. πŸ™‚

      1. “if the stories are a mere creation then it is not memoir.” That’s a great point, Debby. I’m still fascinated by how stories and “facts” and memories change – a regular occurance in my family. πŸ˜€

        1. And certainly in mine, lol. πŸ™‚

  6. Ah, family histories–so much mystery and illusion. You have had an interesting one. Delving into genealogy of my own, I’ve debunked some stories of a great-grandfather. They said no one knew what happened to him after he allegedly got scalped but not killed in a gold rush (that just happened to be on Sioux land in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Maybe, but more likely he just got tired of married life and headed west. A levy of execution on a lien applied to his former lumber company in Maine mentioned the belief that he was in Pikes Peak, then part of Kansas Territory. This was around 1850. Further correspondence between his son and a family friend traced him to lumber business (as a worker) in Colorado–where he died. On the other hand, records of burial plots for my great-grandmother (his wife) and some children who died fighting in the civil war show that he purchased at least the one for his wife. None of these facts were known by my relatives. At this point though, what I can tell you is that don’t delay querying your aging relatives; once they’re gone, so is the information they hold.

    1. Thanks so much John for sharing such a fascinating history of your own ancestry. I think this stuff is fascinating. And possibly you should be writing about your own findings?
      You are so right! I waited many years to raise questions with who remained from my mother’s family, and now they’re all gone. There is much I wish I knew, but getting anything out of my mother took a lot of courage for me to ask, and quite frankly I knew her answers were always peppered with half truths and exaggeration, so unreliable. My beautiful Aunty Sherry died young, and my other Aunty Lee died a year ago and kept close lipped much of her life until she found out she was dying and I prodded her for information she eventually relinquished. It was a different era and people didn’t speak of the unpleasantries so much as in modern times now. Now I have only my own recollections of events, and stories from my cousins about their parents and what they were told about their grandmother to go on. Needless to say, I was elated to find these articles. πŸ™‚

  7. Brilliant Debby.. love the arms bit…. she was a cracker… although you never knew her, you are carrying her spirit and I am sure she would get a great buzz over her story going out over the International grapevine.. will put in the blogger tomorrow night… β™₯β™₯

    1. LOl Sal, I’m sure she would ‘act modest’, but love the accolades. Yes, my Aunty Sherry had her fire, and often told me I had her spirit. Gratefully, my version has been toned down on some fronts, lol. Most of that family kept hush about personal issues. I was sure I was my Aunt Sherry’s daughter, born from my mother. I was the daughter she never had. Sadly, she died too young. <3 Thanks as always for sharing. :) xoxo

      1. At least you had her in your life for a time Debby and she left her mark.. hugs xxxβ™₯

        1. Very true Sal. A huge one! <3 xo

      2. Thanks for this Sal. Did I ask you the math? I don’t recall, but nonetheless appreciate it. πŸ™‚ <3 Lol

        1. No you didn’t and you should not have got that comment either.. wordpress sent to you rather than someone else.. jeez.. I have to hope the guy who asked me for a date got the right response now!!!!!! Sorry about that.. wondered where it went! xx

          1. Lol Sal. I will delete it for you. You crack me up with your gremlins!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ xoxo

  8. wow, Debby what an interesting family history article. I love trying to find out family history as ours has as many tales as legs on it, on my Father’s side that is. We had one family member who gave her father the dna test as a gift it came back with the fact that he had native american blood. We were all taken a back, they come from a small, very small village in Scotland and I’m sure there were no native americans there. Although we do know that on my Dad’s side there is Romany blood perhaps it got mixed up? One day, when I’m a rich and famous author, -cough cough- I’ll get the family history pinned down. xx

    1. Thanks so much Adele for engaging here on family history. Isn’t it fascinating? We could all tell some grand stories if we only had the time and funds to research back in time. No doubt there are plenty of us around, if we dig back far enough that have some native blood in us. πŸ™‚ <3 Thank you. xo

      1. Your welcome, Debby xxx

  9. The history of your grandmother is fascinating. Very sad she died so young. I learned a lot from my maternal grandmother, who died from cancer at age 62 when I was 19. I was lucky to have her influence in my life. She was an educator and a wonderful role-model for my life. I still miss her!

    1. Thanks so much for reading Terri, and for sharing a piece of your own history. You were blessed to be able to spend time with your grandmother, and time that you cherished. πŸ™‚

  10. What a striking post about the striking women in your family, Debby. I was riveted to every detail. I like the fact that ‘back then,’ skinniness was not a beauty mark. But beauty marks WERE desired. πŸ™‚ Sad that you never got to know your grandmother, but with your writing abilities, you certainly can use her attributes for a character in one of your books.

    1. Thank you so much Pam. I’m so glad you enjoyed my little stroll down memoir lane. Thanks for the compliments too. As it turns out, my grandmother was mentioned in one or two of my memoirs. As I’m a ‘tell it like it is’ kind of girl, I don’t anticipate me writing much in the genre of fiction any time soon, lol. πŸ™‚

  11. It’s obvious where you got your good looks, Deb. All the women in your family are gorgeous ?

    1. Aw, gosh darnit T, stop making me blush. Thank you for the lovely compliment. But isn’t it funny how beauty was perceived almost 100 years ago! πŸ™‚ <3

  12. Wow! What a wonderful walk down the memoir lane. Thanks for taking us along Debbie. You are such a sweet child though the looks on your face convey the sad tale you have shared in your book. I am glad you have so many pics and you must be so proud of your grandma! I have never seen my maternal grandma and don’t know much about her as my mom too was barely 12 when she died due to lack of care during maternity.
    Loved reading about your family. Thanks for sharing those lovely pics. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Balroop and for sharing a part of your own past. I just thought it would be a fun post to share some of the background in my books. If you’re going to write memoir, you may as well serve up some appetizers, lol. πŸ™‚

      1. I started writing it long back but the files have been crying for help as I couldn’t go further some harrowing facts and that seems to be the dead end.

        1. I know how difficult it can be to write about raw and painful memories. I don’t think writing about unpleasant memories is something we just say we’re going to sit down and write. It takes a lot to face old demons and can be emotionally debilitating when doing so. I can’t tell you how many times I had to get up from the computer and leave it for another day, especially when in revisions, reading it over and over in your face. πŸ™‚

          1. I can relate to all this Debbie. Hugs.

          2. I’m sure you can. When you’re ready you will know. It’s not something to rush. P.S. I just sent you an email. πŸ™‚

  13. Quite a beautiful post and a testament to how stories are pieced together from the material available.

    1. Thank you so much Jeri. My stories are surely woven from those before me whose webs were weaved, lol. πŸ™‚

  14. It is so interesting how body and even facial “perfection” changes from generation to generation (along with hairdos and fashion).

    I never met any of my father’s family, but I have quite a few pictures of my maternal grandmother (who was probably your mother’s evil twin and made my life quite a misery when she descended every December – I wish I hadn’t met her either). She was known as quite the beauty as well – and she frequently changed the endings and many of the details of her “memories” depending on her audience and the effect she wished to create.

    The expression on your 2-year-old face seems more shocked disbelief to me than sadness – like, “This is it, huh? Where I’ve landed and must grow up. O.M.G.” A keen observer even then. Beautiful genes in your family, however, which you inherited – your Mom was a stunner – but I had to laugh at your comment about the arms. πŸ™‚
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    1. Well it seems we have more in common, lol. My paternal grandmother didn’t like me either and unfortunately I had to spend the best part of my growing up years at her house every weekend! I write about that in my first book, but that was because she hated my mother and I was the byproduct of my parents’ union. Oh yes, I didn’t miss too much. I have vivid memories going all the way back to 3 years old, most not so pretty.
      And ya, well you gotta take the bad with the good, unfortunately ‘the arm’ feature dominated all us women, big and small, lol. Do you know how many summers I sweated when I was younger before you’d catch me wearing a sleeveless top? LOL. Well menopause booted that care right the hell out of me, LOL. And so I write!
      And interesting to know that despite not liking your grandmother, you also inherited her beauty. πŸ™‚ <3 Look at us, two peas in a pod again. Lollllllllllllllll xxxx

      1. Aren’t you sweet – BUT – I have photos of my maternal grandfather, and I prefer to believe that my mother and I favor Les, not Millie (truly, I hope my mother inherited NONE of her genes to pass along to me – lol)

        Except for the grandmother crazies, I don’t have a lot of vivid childhood memories beyond what was going on in my head – mostly trying to figure out the “rules” as the perpetual new kid). Much older than my years, I was a dreamy-spacey little girl who lived in books. THOSE I remember!

        It’s amazing how self-conscious we are when we are younger, isn’t it – and how radically our perspective changes after menopause. If I could wave a magic wand over all females from 16 – 40, I would give them the eyes of their 65-70 year old selves every single time they looked into a mirror, so that they could appreciate their youth and beauty and r-e-l-a-x!
        xx,
        mgh

        1. Wow, so well put Madelyn. Although, I don’t believe self conscious disappears with age. I merely surrendered to the hot flashes from heat, lol. Yes, we see things from a different perspective alright, but still, that insecurity doesn’t necessarily go away. πŸ™‚

          1. My own self consciousness/insecurity HAS gone away, pretty much – especially where appearance is concerned – thank you Lord!

            After a certain age there is only so good you can look – lol – and you simply have to know when to stop (opposed to theatre make & wardrobe designed to make anybody look pretty fabulous under the lights, and especially compared to my efforts during my theatre career years where appearance was very important, time consuming and the judgment of others was rampant).

            Both face and body change as we age and, except for still photographs — only after a great deal of “styling — age shows. I can no longer look “young” but I can still look good in environments where that matters to me. I’ve accepted that and really don’t worry about it (and sometimes how I look is simply not important at all).

            How I AM has become the most important thing now – NOT how I look, and I’ve worked very hard for my entire life to be proud of how I am.

            THAT said, I’m no dummy. I don’t do the internet photo (or phone) thing sans make-up, hair & wardrobe on top!! People will probably always judge on the package and I prefer to be intentional about the impression my image creates — I still get self-conscious when I feel misrepresented.
            xx,
            mgh
            (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
            ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
            “It takes a village to transform a world!”

          2. Excellent attitude my friend. Yes, we can try and look our best. There is no hiding age. Even Botox and all that scary stuff people do to themselves becomes telltale at some point. Beware the hands! Lol. πŸ™‚ xx

          3. The hands, the feet, the ides – beware them all – tick, tick, tick – and appreciate what you see in the mirror NOW, because even that will fade (if we are lucky enough to stay alive and healthy for many more years) πŸ™‚
            xx,
            mgh

          4. Lol, almost depressing. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

          5. Only if you think about it. πŸ™‚
            xx,
            mgh

          6. True. πŸ™‚

  15. Thanks for sharing, Debby. What a complicated family story! (OK, more reasons to read your books, indeed). It’s strange to think of how few records people left behind in the past, when today everybody seems to be everywhere sharing all kinds of unimportant information. Beautiful grandmother and a beautiful family indeed.

    1. Thanks so much Olga. And you are so right. Nowadays we get to see what people ate for breakfast on Facebook, lol. But back from the last generation on, people were more secretive and didn’t air their personal laundry, often not even to their children. Depending on how children of our generation were affected (mostly boomers) is how they managed to come out. Some carry on the secretive things they carry from the past and themselves keep a good part of them to themselves, and others who managed to break free, like me, change, grow and become a voice. πŸ™‚

  16. Debby, how fascinating to read about your grandmother in this article and to finally have a photo of her – she comes across as confidant and direct. It must be difficult though to have no other photos of her and to know so little about her life. Seeing the photo of you at two I just want to sweep that little girl up in my arms and give her a big cuddle and lots of love. She looks so lost…hugs xx

    1. Thanks so much Annika. Yes, can you imagine having no photos. Not even a photo of my parents when they got married in City Hall. And lol, I wanted to give myself a hug when I saw that picture of me too. My family background has certainly given me plenty to write about. πŸ™‚ <3

  17. What a fascinating post, Debby. So wonderful that you were able to find out all this information about your grandmother. I have also only seen 2 photos of my Mom’s Mother. Not many cameras about in those days.

    1. Thanks Robbie. So true, cameras were a luxury for many. πŸ™‚

  18. Great story Debby, Just think you turned out to be everything your mother and grandmother wanted for themselves except you did it with truth and dignity. Your two year old photo is so sad looking. It looks like you needed a loving hug so here it is ((((((((((())))))))))). You do come from a long line of beauties I have to admit. The best part is you are just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. Hugs β™₯β™₯β™₯

    1. Now Patricia, you just brought tears to my eyes, I’m not kidding! <3 Your beautiful comment really hit me, telling me that I attained what they both so longed for but didn't know how life worked to do so. And your hug warmed my heart. Thank you Patricia. <3 <3 xo

  19. This is so cool πŸ˜‰ I love images from the 20’s, and the stories that may – or may not – be linked to such pictures.

    We grab the shoe box full of old Biddulph photos and sift through them when the fam gets together. Less frequently these days but we still do, and there is something about going through old hard copy photos that the online versions just can’t recreate.

    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan, thanks a bunch for stopping by here and for sharing a snippet of your own. It’s true, often old photos don’t convey the same feeling online as they do when you’re holding them. πŸ™‚

  20. Lovely post. Interesting background that you (and your sis-in-law) pieced together. Literally. Looks like your aunts were helpful, too. (Love the “arm” bit…) Families are interesting, that’s for sure. Thanks for sharing, Debby. ❀

    1. Thanks for reading Sarah. Lol, seems the ‘arm bit’ was entertaining for many, nonetheless, true. πŸ™‚ <3

  21. Wow! Thank you. I feel like I’ve taken a little historical journey. This is quite a story and I love your grandmother’s comment that she was a Canadian and that was good enough for her. Even though you didn’t know your grandmother and nothing can replace that loss, it’s amazing to have newspaper articles with photos and descriptions of herself and her life in her words–embellishments or not. (We story tellers know about embellishments.) And there she is, a beautiful dark-haired woman who died too young and left a damaged daughter behind.

    1. Thanks Elaine. I’m sure as a memoir writer, you can surely appreciate how these tiny tidbits help piece together stories of our lives. I had to laugh when I read that article, I could honestly hear my mother’s haughty tone in her remarks. And I have to think her adamant remark about being Canadian was good enough for her was almost said as a defense as though they wanted to know something more that she wasn’t giving up, such as the fact that my grandmother’s background is Scottish. It’s still a mystery in progress, lol.

  22. What a fascinating story, Debby. You certainly come from line of beauties, although you made me laugh with the ‘thick arm’ comment. My family have a bit of a ‘no waist’ thing going on!!!

    1. LOl, thanks so much Judy. It seems many enjoyed my arm theory, but it’s a fact. I used to have a waist, then menopause attacked that too, lol. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  23. Debby, how wonderful it is that you have these newspaper clippings to learn about your grandmother’s life. There are always those people who tend to embellish life, I didn’t have any in my family, but I have a “friend” who loves to add flavor to her life. You were such an adorable little girl, and I can see all generations were blessed with beauty. Take care, xo.

    1. Oh thanks so much Lana for your lovely compliments. Yes, I grew up with a mother who loved to embellish. It seemed to be a need within her no matter how much she obtained once she married. I learned to take everything she said with a grain of salt. πŸ™‚ xx

  24. Such an interesting read, Debby. One of my relatives is currently digging deep into my family history and while I am interested in what he will find, I am rather anxious as well. I have to say that, from the photo, your mother was a beautiful women at the age of 16. I only wish I had taken the time to find out more from my Grandmother before she sadly passed away in 1995.

    1. Ahh, hindsight my friend. I know exactly what you mean. When I was younger getting stories was impossible, nobody wanted to talk. You can dig around while there’s somebody still living who remembers or you’re left to looking at sites like Ancestry.com. OH, and the photo you’re referring to is my mother at ‘my Sweet 16’ part, she was 34 years old. :)x

      1. Just goes to show what my dyslexia made me read what was under that photo, Debby. I often look back at some of my writing and comments and ask myself why I’ve written what I’ve written? It drives me crazy, sometimes.
        I’ve a 90-year old aunt, who I’ve been to see quite a lot recently, because my 89-year old uncle died a few months ago. They were together for 72 years and it was only his death that made me think that I should have visited them more often. She’s been telling me some lovely family stories, but I’ve also learned a few rather ‘no so nice’ stories. I’m glad I’ve been asking her questions, but sometimes think I’d have been better off not asking.

        1. I know what you mean about ‘be careful what you ask about’, but that’s history and I’m glad I found out many of the things I did. And lol, no worries Hugh, you’re not the only one who questions what they comment sometimes, it happens, dyslexia or not! πŸ™‚ <3

  25. Wow, These memories have shaped your life Deb and molded you to who you have become.! You are a strong woman and I’m proud to call you friend. <3 Blessings back,

    1. Hey Ellie! Thanks a bunch for stopping over and commenting. The feeling is mutual my friend. πŸ™‚ <3

  26. Fascinating insight into your family, Deb, in addition to what you’ve already shared in your books. Isn’t it amazing how human beings can talk themselves into believing alternate versions of history? I’ve learned quite a bit about how the mind can do this, as we use a similar technique in sports psychology. It’s surprisingly easy to use a repeated visualisation to turn an athlete’s convictions about their abilities from negative to positive.
    I guess that’s how brainwashing works!

    1. Absolutely Deb. The mind is a delicate thing. Even when you hear about people who have been abducted and get attached to their captors, the same thing happens. That’s why I knew my mother well. She wrote her own script in life and followed it to the letter until, my deduction, she believed everything she said of herself. We can train the mind for the better good as well as for bad intent. πŸ™‚

  27. This is so fitting as we approach Mother’s Day. To look back upon the generations to see how far the women in our families have come. To honestly look back at our lineage and say “yes, I claim ownership of X” (where X is some inherited character trait we like or dislike) but, look at how I have faced that, learned from it and turned it around (or am striving to turn it ((X)) around).” Thank you for this post. It’s a keen reminder of how legacies are made, broken then expanded.

    1. Oh thanks so much Ann. You are so right – and your last sentence summed it up beautifully. πŸ™‚

  28. I don’t know what happened to my original comment. I was saying it is so sad that you didn’t know your grandmother, but at least you do have these clippings.

    1. Thanks Michelle. Yes, something salvaged. πŸ™‚ And, I did get both your comments, I deleted the other one. πŸ™‚ x

  29. Fascinating piece of family history! While it must have been frustrating at times, playing detective and uncovering the truths about your mother and grandmither must have been exciting and rewarding as well. And, I think you have inherited the women of your family’s story telling talent!

    1. Thanks Liesbet. I hope my storytelling is a lot more factual than the lies I was raised with, lol. πŸ˜‰

  30. Oh families! I wouldn’t have had a job for 30 years if they weren’t so frequently odd. It is good you have made sense of yours.

    1. Lol Cindy. I’ve spent my lifetime trying to figure things out. :)x

  31. You were all beautiful but it’s tragic how your mother could not be happy. I am always impressed with the mature self-possession that runs through what might otherwise be a very emotional narrative for you.

    1. Aw, thank you Diana. Lovely to see you. I suppose I lived with uncertainty enough that I’ve found a way to digest things, mostly by writing. πŸ™‚

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