23 December 2009
Rose had a very difficult childhood. Her father died when she was 6 1/2. After that time, their family was so poor that she often went hungry. Their mother was forced to adopt out the youngest sister. The family offered to take Rose too, but she had lost her father and did not want to leave her mother. Ironically, in the next few months, she too was sent to live with her older brother, since her mother re-married and her step-father was not able to support them. This was during the Great Depression. Rose says in her history:
One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting on the back of my dad’s big chair and rubbing his head and neck. Also hearing my mother playing the organ. We used to pop popcorn and sing. She liked us to wash her feet and rub them after a hard day.
We didn’t have Christmas after my father died. I don’t remember much about it before except we did have a tree. No birthday parties. Now Leonard takes me out to celebrate on my birthday.
Rose made sure Christmas was celebrated with her children and the other children, relatives and neighbors that she took care of. One of her special traditions was to gather her children around her and read to them. On Christmas Eve she always read "The Night Before Christmas."
Rose is missed this year and every year.