Sunday, November 30, 2014

Share a Memory- The Drawing on the Wall

I am late for this but I wanted to post something. Work and illness have made it impossible to get anything together before now. I can't make it to Rootstech so don't worry about including me in a drawing. It's enough to enable me to sit here and tell the story of the drawing.

For as long as I could remember there was an old framed drawing of my maternal grandmother somewhere in my grandparent's house. It was always just there, something you glanced at on your way into or out of the room. I had been told the story of it many times over the years but it wasn’t until my mother gave it to me that the whole thing had meaning.

The drawing was made by a friend of the family who either worked for Walt Disney or would later work for him. The frame is beaten up but it has been in there for so long I don’t want to risk ruining it by reframing. I believe it also adds to the charm.

Drawing in Possession of Author; Reflection awful.

 The best part about it was the letter. Grandma was named Teresa after her Italian grandmother. It used to annoy her when people would call her Theresa. For some reason my grandfather could never spell it right. With the way the family would pronounce it he always thought it was Threasa. We didn’t know but a few months after her death he wrote a letter, put it in a ziplock bag, and taped it to the back of the photo. Including the wrong spelling.

Letter by John Randel Dorn, 5/1/2002, letter in possession of author

He wanted Jean to not be forgotten. And it added something to my story. You see, he always said they were married at the Little Church Around the Corner in NYC but I never knew they had eloped first. I have the certificate from the NYC church of their marriage that I plan on framing and hanging up next to a photo of their wedding day. It was a shock to discover that they were married for almost a month by then!

Sitting across the room from it I am reminded of family get togethers at their house where everyone was yelling at each other.We spent most of the time in their half of the house. The other half was where Jean's parents, Oscar and Mary lived. We would go in there to eat if it was a big family event. I can still see all the Blue Willow Mary collected and hear Oscar putting us to sleep with stories of his childhood in Guardiagrele, Italy. Along with a long list of other things that flash into my mind every now and then.

There are other times I look and see my daughter. You can put photos of them next to each other and not be able to tell which was which if not for the age of it.

It's funny how something I knew existed but never really paid attention to as a child could come to flood me with such memories as an adult.