Stories from my mother’s closet

Earlier this year my mother, age 87, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I moved in with her in June, to help care for her. Mom has always been a “saver”, some might call it a hoarder, but not on the reality-show scale, more like a child of the depression era who saved, reused, and recycled long before it was fashionable. Moving in with her also created an opportunity (that I have long wished for) to go through her “stuff”.  But it’s not just her memories and memorabilia.  She has saved things from her parents, and parents-parents, my father’s parents and grandparents and God only knows what else.

My family is as ordinary as they come yet remarkable in their own way. My father’s parents immigrated from Ireland and England in the late 1890’s. My mother’s father traces his roots in this country to the Dutch in Bergen County New Jersey in the 1670’s.  I don’t know much about how my maternal grandmother’s family came to this country but I hope to find out more.

My maternal grandparents both served in World War I, Grandpa left the New Jersey State Legislature to serve as a lieutenant in France.  My grandmother had been serving as a nurse under General Pershing in El Paso TX, then went to France when World War I broke out.  My father and his two brothers served in World War II, all three in the Army Air Corps.  His father graduated from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland and was an Attorney.  My paternal grandmother…well, hers is a long story for later.

October 17, 1953 my parents were married in Lakewood Ohio.   Today would have been their 61st anniversary.  This blog is a detective story about both of them, the things I find and the stories in my mothers closet.