12 February 2009

February 12th...

has long held a special place in the hearts and minds of not just the United States but most of the world. We celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, probably the greatest president and leader the world has ever had.

Abraham Lincoln Memorial.jpg

He was, to all available knowledge and research, a humble, intelligent and special person. He was a risk taker and made tough decisions even if they were not what he would consider part of his psyche or ethic. He made them based on what was best; not what was politically correct or catering to small minded people.

Today is the 200th anniversary of his birth, a special occasion. In Illinois it is always a holiday for government and schools.

In spite of the checkered political history of the state, it was his home and maybe that is unconsciously why people are reacting to the recent embarrassments and shenanigans. I don't really know.


It is also a personally important day. Today would have been my mother's 89th birthday. She was born on the same date as Abraham Lincoln. She died 12 years ago, but you never really stop feeling a hole when you loose someone, especially a parent. One of the things that I do, and it is not something I broadcast, is visit the cemetery. Not just on her birthday but also the anniversary of her death. Actually, I do it for all of my close relatives. This habit is something she ingrained in me and I accept it. I would have to take her to the cemetery for all of these occasions.

One more thing - my grandparents didn't get to name her. Since she was born on February 12th, the doctor named her. Her first name was Lincoln.

It's a pretty name for a lady. I have also met men who have it as a first name.

I remember one story she told me when I was younger. She said, "Thank God I wasn't born a boy! I'm afraid the doctor would have named me Abraham!"

Of course that really wasn't the end of it. When she was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, they wouldn't use the name Lincoln because it wasn't a saint's name. When the priest got to the part where he had to say her name, he said, "Catherine". My grandparents were furious; he never mentioned it to them before hand.

I can just hear my grandmother. She spoke very little English but swore in Italian like an old truck driver and added the English curse words at every chance. [she knew those!] They had to remind her often when I was around because I understood everything. I didn't totally speak English until I was four.

yes..., i did inherit her mouth, but i'm cautious most of the time, since i worked with kids for 37 years. though they taught me a few words my grandmother didn't know...

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