Stella - FINAL DRAFT

Subject: Stella. My great grandmother. If you knew her, nothing needed to be mentioned after "Stella". And if you didn't know her, wish you had. A genius IQ, a fearless soul, a stubborn will, and self confidence that was radiant. Experiences and stories that kept your attention, yet grace and love that made you feel safe.

Angle: The smartest and most determined woman I have ever met. I named my daughter after Stella because she was that amazing of a woman. I hope to acquire many of the traits she did, and obviously I hope the same for my daughter. She knew nearly everything a woman would need to know, she feared nothing and never doubted herself. Her will power was astonishing, she did it all on her own. She sewed her family's clothes, she cooked from scratch and she even played the role as her own mechanic when her car broke down. She refused medicines that weren't healthy and never took "no" for an answer. Yet at the same time, she made you feel secure, home, loved.

Project: Stella was born as a premature "veil baby". She was rougly 28 weeks gestational, born at home on newspaper. Her mother and father believed she was a stillborn, no signs of vitality. Her father put her in a shoe box and pronounced her dead. He sat down next to the shoebox with a glass of whiskey to calm his nerves. He then decided to give her one last "I love you" before she was buried. When he did, she started to gasp for air. Stella's father could not believe what was happening, he immediately began to massage the whiskey all over her skin and proceeded to give her CPR.

And she was full of life from that moment on. Her spunk, confidence, and everything in between. It is commonly known that "veil babies" are born with psychic abilities or good luck. That truly seemed to be the case. Stella had several instances of psychic visions, more than you could count. As far as her luck, she hit the mega millions twice. 

Stella was wise with her money and shared her knowledge and experiences with anyone who would listen. Her sense of humor was anything but typical, her smile eccentric. 

She was only eight years old when her mother gave her fifteen cents to buy a winter coat. That seems unreal or impossible to our generation. However, it wasn't. Not in Stella's eyes. She bought a mens size XL coat. Imagine an eight year old girl wearing an XL mens coat, if you wish. But you don't necessarily have to, because that isn't what happened. Stella took home the enormous, bulky and much too oversized coat and started snipping and stitching away. A few hours later, she created a nice fitting, warm winter coat. And that is when Stella learned to sew. She was talented and gifted at sewing. She went to college to become a professional seamstress and she even made my clothes when I was a little girl. Every year for picture day I would have the most beautiful dress in the school, handmade with love of course.

I always found my great grandma Stella mysterious from the time I was a little girl watching her make barbeque sauce from scratch, and even now. I always wonder if there were stories she didn't share with us, although we spent many hours listening. Stella didn't have those elderly stories that would put you to sleep or bore you. She kept you on the edge of your seat, wondering if the story were actually true or not until someone of credibility verified it.

Being born so premature can lead to life long health issues. Stella was as healthy as an 86 year old woman could be when she passed away. She didn't even take as much as an aspirin. Only vitamins and one shot of whiskey a night. She always said when her driver's license were revoked due to old age she would start to die. Nine months before her passing, her license were revoked. She was healthy and happy, and thoroughly enjoyed running all over town to get the best sale prices on fruits and vegetables, which is why her driver's license meant so much to her. "How in the world am I going to get those cheap tomatoes for my chili!?"

Stella kept up on the maintenance of her vehicles herself, using the owner's manual. She changed her water pump in her jeep at the age of 78 without a struggle. Her recipes are appreciated like gold in our family. If it is coming out of Grandma Stella's recipe book, you know it is going to be amazing. 

It's a scary though to imagine how differently my life would have been without Stella. She inspired me to dream and be me. She set such an example of forgiving not only your peers, but yourself. If my great, great grandfather wouldn't have opened that shoe box that last time, I wouldn't be here nor would my children wouldn't be here. She always played the role of the matriarch in our family.

Thank you, great grandma Stella, for being so mysterious, influental, gracious, intelligent, patient and fearless. I love you and I am so proud of myself for naming my only daughter after the most incredible woman I have met.

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