Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Lena May!

Thanks to my awesome Aunt Ginny I have this beautiful picture of my grandmother. Today is her birthday!

Lena May Stockton (Abbate/Abbott) was born on June 2, 1901, in Green Township, Ohio. She was raised by a single mother in the early 1900's. That could not have been easy but I do believe that Lena May and her mom made the best of a tough situation. Oletha Williams, Lena May's mom, was ever optimistic and from stories I have heard it sounds like their life together was always an adventure for better or for worse!

I can still hear my own mom say, "You are just like May!" She said that often when I was dressed in my "power, professional" woman suits in the 1990's, complete with matching scarf or brooch and more recently when I whined that I was running late for work AGAIN because I was having a hard time finding the right coat or a specific pair of shoes/snow boots to match my outfit. Yep, this Floridian still struggles with the fashion nuances of living in the west and with remembering that is it more about function than style especially when the temperature is low and the snow is blowing.

Oh yeah, one more thing, my mother always said I reminded her of Lena May when I was displaying my fiercely independent side. I am pretty sure that my mom secretly admired that independent streak even though it sometimes "drove her to her bed" as she would say! May was an independent lady and self-sufficient when necessary, both qualities that I admire.

I remember Grandma Abbott mostly later in her life when she and my grandfather lived in Austin, Texas, after their retirement. They were happily retired and enjoying their leisure time after years of working. Visiting Texas last summer I talked to an old neighbor of hers. The neighbor was a young girl when Lena May lived on her block. She remembered Lena May giving the children in the neighborhood homemade cookies and Kool-Aid and she remembered the day that Lena passed away. "She was such a nice lady, we were all so sad."

Happy Birthday Grandma Abbott, how I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee and chat!
Lena May Stockton (Abbate/Abbott) and Angie Abbate (Mood)
Santa Monica, California
Summer, 1965
And, yes, Lena May put together my perfectly matching cowgirl outfit!

No comments:

Post a Comment