Earlier this week, my great-aunt, Marie turned 100 years old.
She is an amazing woman. She came from a rather small family. She never married, nor had children of her own. She had one nephew (my father), and one niece. They in turn provided her with 15 great-nieces and nephews, and even more great-great nieces and nephews.
It’s hard to fathom living for 100 years. Just think, she was 5-years old on Armistice Day, and she remembers it. She also remembers that when she was very young, they spoke German in her home, but her father forbade it once the U.S. entered World War I.
She worked for decades for Metropolitan Life in New York City. During the era of TV’s “Mad Men”, she was one of the “girls” in the office pool. (Though I doubt she was ever up to any of the antics portrayed by Don Draper’s girls.)
She traveled quite a bit. While she traveled to Germany and Ireland, she treasured her trips across the U.S. – to Pike’s Peak, and the Grand Canyon.
When we were young, she drove a 1974 Green Dodge Dart. I loved that car. It took us on countless trips back and forth from our home in Vermont to my grandparent’s home on Long Island, New York. She would always take me, my siblings and cousins on little jaunts to Manhattan during our summer visits. She took me to the Museum of Natural History for the first time – where I was in awe of the big blue whale hanging from the ceiling. She and one of her friends took me to visit Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, with a side trip to Gettysburg, PA when I was twelve. I will always remember that trip (in part because I came down with a nasty case of the Chicken Pox on the way home).
Last weekend, those of us who still live in the Northeast came together to celebrate her 100th birthday. We had a lively lunch (everything in our family is lively), and somehow managed to get Aunt Marie to wear a 100th birthday crown while we sang Happy Birthday. She laughed, and was a bit embarrassed, but she blew out those candles with no effort at all.
I’ve attached a little video photo album we put together for her.
Aunt Marie – Happy Birthday, and we love you!!