I think this might be my favorite picture of her. I can't quite figure out where it was taken -- it seems it might have been on an airplane, but there's a companion photo of my dad, and it looks like they weren't sitting together. Oh well, yet another genealogical mystery never to be solved.
Waltraud Marianna Sophie Berneburg Ortman
I keep an empty purse-sized container of her perfume, Shalimar, in my dresser drawer. If I take off the cap, I'm transported back to the days when we would sit on her bed, watching her get ready to go out. The lovely dress (which she had undoubtedly made), the nice jewelry, the hair spray, the Shalimar. Two little girls watching her and hoping to grow up to be her. (I don't remember our brother taking part in this ritual.) Did we do it, Mom? Have we carried you into our lives in a loving, positive way?
Here's a little collage of some of the moms in my life; our mom, her mom Sophie Berneburg (holding me as a baby), our dad's mom May Ortmann (as a nurse, and holding the hand of little Billy), me and my little son Devin in Yellowstone, my mom modeling for a live drawing session in high school (she was studying fashion design), and the small picture at the top that includes my cousin Marianne's mom, Hilda Berneburg. All are loved and missed (well, except for me, of course -- I'm not missing yet!).
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So much love, so much caring in those pictures. To all the moms in our lives, thank you, and God bless.