I love discussing the wonderful women in my family - those who trail blazed, defied odds, did all they could to keep their families afloat during dire straits, and most of all, were loved by many and are still loved.
I wanted to showcase my own special fearless female in our family, my own mother. I seem to dwell more on my great grandparents and grandparents, but don't really get to talking about the one who is closest to me; my mother!
My mother was born on May 12th 1952 on a Monday at exactly 12pm. For years my Grandma said she was born on Mother's Day, but it was actually the day after Mother's Day.
My mom was born in Oakland, CA on what they called P Hill or Pea Hill. I think the hospital has since been torn down. Growing up, she and her siblings lived all over the San Francisco Bay Area. My grandfather had many different jobs that kept them moving a lot. One of their more stable homes was on Myrtle Drive, Concord, CA. I think this is where she had some of her first memories. They were friends with the Brown kids and there are many pictures of my mom and her siblings with these kids.
Then the kids were uprooted once more. My mom has always boasted she moved 21 times before she was 21.
When my mother's parents divorced in 1959, my grandmother took full custody of the children. My grandfather did not like this very much. He attempted to kid-nap my Uncle, but returned him unharmed (I am unsure of what got my uncle back to my Grandmother, but I am sure the police were involved). My Grandma lived with her mother for sometime in order to regroup.
During this time, my Grandmother reconnected with an old flame and they were married that same year. They knew each other due to my grandma's sister being married to his older brother; so they were technically in-laws. During this time, the family had a new life in a new town and home. They grew up in Linden, CA for about 4 years. My mother has many fond memories of this time spent here. Linden is in the middle of a large farming community, so my mother loved going through the tomato patches and eating the big beef stake tomatoes. She made new friends and began to have a more stable life. However, that was to change.
In 1963, the family moved once again to Fremont, CA (a city which is considered part of Silicon Valley). They moved to Starlite Hills. This would be mother's final move until she left home in the early 1970's. She made many more new friends and had fun neighbors. She lived a very suburban 1960's life. She had a crush on the boy next door. She became a cheerleader all throughout high school and graduated in 1970. She was to marry her high school sweet heart, but it did not work out.
After high school, she went to a trade school college and graduated as a medical assistant. This prompted her to move out and work first at Eden Hospital in Castro Valley in the Emergency Room. After a few years there, she moved on to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek.
And, then she met my father in 1977. They were married in 1978. After two kids and 15 years of marriage, unfortunately, my parents parted ways.
I have looked up to my mother for many reasons - the strength she had to keep working through a lot of pain, to stand up for what is right when confronted with issues, to confront injustice, look for the best in all people despite their shortcomings, to remain positive despite lots of things going against her way, to give of her time to listen to others and be uplifting, to stand up for what is right and what she believes in.
To me, this makes her one heck of a fearless female.
Here are a few photos of my mother "mommy" over the years:
About 6-7 months old
1st Birthday and first steps
1st Birthday cake celebrated at the Ranch in Brentwood, CA.
About 5 years old
About 7 years old
About 7-8 years old with step-grandma Beth Purviance.
About 1 1/2 years old with her mother, and siblings holding her hand - cousins are on far left
One of very few photos with her biological father, circa 1956
About age 7-8 with siblings, circa 1959-1960
In Linden, CA, circa 1961-62, with their mother (above) and step-father (below)
With baby ducks, circa 1960-61, my mother is on the far left
Blossoming into a pretty lady, my mother is in the middle with her sister on the left and mother Annette on the right.
My mother is the second bridesmaid from the right. This was my Aunt's wedding in 1969 at the Weibel Winery.
My grandmother Annette, my mother and aunt, circa 1976
My mother with a family friend, circa 1974
My mother in January of 1978, with my Dad, in what was likely a first meeting of family for them. Lydia is next to my Dad and great aunt Izetta is on the right.
My mom and dad with my mom's cousin Cindee, in January 1978
My mother in the early 1980s.