October 4th Birthdays

happy-birthday-ecardOctober 4th marks the birthdays of two special people in my life: my current mother-in-law, and my former mother-in-law (how weird is that??). Both women are in their 80s and doing pretty well.

Although I have only known my current “mom” for 5 years, she has an amazing history and has recently bounced back from two strokes. She was born in Chile, then her family moved to Germany where she saw the effects of World War II. She moved back to Chile, where she married her German-born husband. They had five children, all born in Colombia, then up and moved to San Diego in 1966, where Dad, now passed, worked for PSA Airlines (now Southwest). They eventually divorced, but while separated, she secretly took lessons on bus driving and eventually drove a bus in San Diego for years!

My former mother-in-law was born in Kansas, grew up and graduated with her degree and teaching credential.  She and their three children eventually moved to northern California in the late 1960s. Seems like a trend! I was very close to her for all the years I was married to her son; she even designed and sewed my wedding dress! She loved teaching elementary children but was forced to retire in her 40s due to severe back problems which required several invasive surgeries and long recovery times. She was and is a wonderful grandmother to my now adult daughters, her only grandchildren.

As I celebrate these birthdays, I am amazed at their well-lived lives and all the trials and tribulations they had to endure as middle-aged women. They both found their paths in spite of their obstacles. The most remarkable thing is they NEVER complained about their problems! They belong to the Traditionalist, or Silent Generation, and complaining just does not happen. These women lived through the effects of the second world war, the Great Depression and great change in America.

I am honored these women have been in my life and I find it a gift from God that they share the same birthday, which makes this commemoration even more wonderful!

Happy birthday Hella Blumenbach Schrandt and Eleanor Jeffus Matal!

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