If Marj had lived she would have turned 91 last Tuesday. I'm not much into celebrating birthdays when the death day has arrived but for some reason this year seems appropriate. Maybe because 91 is still an approachable age - but barely. Her best friend, Dorothy, is still driving and going off to the casino and she's 91, too. I would have liked to have more years with her but that seems too obvious and quaint - don't we all.
It is just as well, perhaps, that she went when she did. Health problems were mounting and I'm sure her quality of life was slipping. I'd hate to have seen her in a nursing home withering and wilting away. And so at the age of 69 she left. I was thinking, as I was writing this up, when she was happiest. I have no idea really - we never know what is behind the curtain. She talked of her childhood which by her account was rich with loving parents and extended family. An only child she was doted on and spoiled. And none of that depression era hardship stuff - her father made enough to give her anything she wanted.
Here she was at 3 months. I wonder if the post card thing was common back then or if this was a deluxe thing? Happy? Oh I'm sure, but what do we really remember in those years?
I don't have a date on this one, but it was surely before college. Let's go with high school. I'm sure she was having great fun with many friends. I have seen pictures of her in her Monmouth days surrounded by school chums. These years would have to be way up there in the happiness department.
I'm sure the years around her marriage were pretty fun too. They moved to Seaton to help with his father's grain elevator business and started to establish themselves in town. They started a family and built a new house.
I'd like to think, however, that maybe this time, this moment in her life was the best, and not because I have arrived, although that would be a part of it. It is that point in life when you "have it". Whatever that is. It's different for everyone and I suppose not everyone gets there. For Marj I think "it" was family, a propserous husband, friends, social activity and her parents. At this moment, all is well. At this instant, she had it.
Happy Birthday, Marj.
Note: The above family picture represents one of nine negatives I found in the archive and took to Zebra Photography in St. Petersburg for devleoping. They are in color which is rare, and have us in various poses. I'm pretty sure they were Christmas pictures and these may have been the rejects. As to who took the pictures, I have no idea. I will be featuring these in upcoming Flashback Friday posts as they represent a rather special find.