Memory lane is a wonderfully magical place to take a stroll every now and again, and there are certain sights and sounds and smells that can can push you down that road no matter what direction you are heading in. This image did that for me.
My grandmother, May Fry Holland, used to drop money in the Salvation Army bucket every time we passed one during the Christmas season. I can recall her saying, "Aunt Carrie used to tell me that she could never pass the bucket without putting something in." She would say it aloud, but it was more of a comment to no one here and to everyone in the wind. I had no idea what it meant then.
Years passed and Christmas shopping season after season brought out red buckets and Grandma dropping her money. I was well into my teens by the time my curiosity had peaked and I wanted to know the STORY!
I had heard Grandma refer to "the Christian Mission" over the years as well and just couldn't wrap my mind around it as a noun the way she used it. Like it was a place, not a statement of purpose. When I finally asked about Aunt Carrie, I found my answer.
May Elizabeth Fry Holland, was born on July 21, 1915. She was the daughter of Emma Arretta Cunningham, 35 years old and John Quincy Fry, 65 years old. Emma's motto in life was that, "It was better to be an old mans princess, than a young man's slave." Emma was adventerous and wanted to see the world and John was getting up into his years and tired from already having raised one family and had just begun another. May and her twin brother Raymond Henry were the age of some of his grandchildren, and great grandchildren, I'm sure. Raymond died in September of 1915 and a few years later another son, Alfred was born. They weren't Emma's only two, but they were the youngest two, and the only two from John Fry.
When my Grandma was still a little girl, just at school age, her mother decided it was time to see more of the world. Emma, I'm sure hoping to be the princess again, set to traveling with a new beau. John, in his 70's by now was a, "junk collector," according to the census records and a "second hand salesman," according to my grandma. He was too old and too poor to raise children so he sent them to, "the Christian Mission." A place! A real place! Grandma explained that the Christian Mission was now known as the Salvation Army! It was an orphanage. My grandma was raised in an orphanage! It all made perfect sense now. She told me about how her Dad paid 10 cents a week for her and Al to stay at the orphanage and not be adopted. She told me stories about the ladies that worked at the Mission and the families that she worked for when she was old enough to be sent out as hired help for farmers and their wives. She told me stories that made my heart break and swell and soar! I loved her stories.
Aunt Carrie was Emma's sister, the one grandma would talk about or maybe even to, as she dropped her money in the red bucket at Christmas time. I can imagine that she was talking to or thinking about a dozen different people as she passed those red buckets, but Aunt Carrie is the only name that came out.
I only have and have only seen one picture of May Fry Holland as a little girl, this is it. This is John, May and Alfred.
~Michele~ created card.
This card was colored by Michele with Copic markers, and this digi stamp can be found at Sassy Cheryl's, it's called, "The Simplest Gift."
This card will be entered into the following challenges:
This one reminds me of the song, "Don't Save it all for Christmas Day," by Celine Dion.