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Friday, April 10, 2009

Two Very Special People


As some of you may know, I LOVE doing family history. And---I have put together several albums of pictures, news articles, old letters and other interesting things (that I hope one of my grandchildren will enjoy having someday). Today's post is about my Mom and Dad's love which led to their marriage on Sept. 6, 1919. Mom was Edith Marguerite Ballard and Dad was Simon Edgar Banks.

Here's a little background. Mom's mother (Ida Bruce Ballard) died when Mom was only four years old. Her father, James Ballard, remarried and moved to Newport News, VA. Mom was basically raised by several aunts (her mother's sisters who lived in Big Stone Gap) AND her father's sisters (who lived in Bristol, VA).

Mom was almost 19 when she and Daddy got married. Dad was 30 --and had already been in the Navy before they got married. I think Daddy swept Mom off of her feet---but he had to get permission from all of those aunts in order to marry Mom. Here is a piece of the letter (I have the original) he wrote to one of the aunts:

Dear Rosa,
Edith and I have asked Miss Flora if she would consent to our marriage, sometime during the coming Fall, and she naturally feels that I should write you, Miss Alice and Robert (uncle), asking your consent also.


We will tell you all about our plans when you come home. Wish you would answer by return mail, telling us whether or not you will consent. Robert has already assured us that it is perfectly satisfactory to him. Expect to hear from Miss Alice tonight.


Hope you are enjoying your trip.
Sincerely, Simon

Well---needless to say, they ALL consented (Can you just imagine my Dad's fear ---when having to ask all of those aunts if he could marry Mom????ha) and Mom and Dad were married that September. They raised 3 children: Raymond Edgar Banks --born 1922, James Ballard Banks--born in 1930 and ME (Elizabeth Bruce Banks)--born in 1942. Daddy lived until May, 1969--- a few months before his 80th birthday. Mom lived until 1991--and died at age 91. Mom and Dad were married for 49 years (would have been 50 if Dad had have lived until Sept.). The picture above is Mom and Dad and Snowball (our cat) taken about 1960. The picture on the wall above them is my grandmother, Ida Elizabeth Bruce, (Mom's mother). More pictures are below.




I love this picture of Dad and Mom ---taken sometime BEFORE they got married in 1919. Even though Dad was 11 years older than Mom, they had a fabulous life together. I can't help but wonder what all of those Aunts (who raised Mom) thought about her getting married to a man 11 yrs. older!!!! Bet Dad was shaking in his boots when he asked that family for her hand! ha




"Will you marry me, Edith Ballard?" She obviously said YES!!!! (Thank Goodness, or I wouldn't be here!!! ha)




A pillow fight no less???? Hmmmmm---looks like two people in love, having fun, doesn't it? Don't you love these old pictures???? I'm so glad I have them.





Moving on, to about 1943, when Mom and Dad were so happy --that their little girl named Betsy was walking!!!!




This was about 1948 (I was about 6 yrs. old) and was taken in front of our home, at Christmastime (obviously). My dolly was named Lulu (after one of my favorite Great Aunts). I was truly my Daddy's little girl!!!




This was a picture of Mom and Dad ---taken sometime in the '60's I think. Mom used to love to decorate BIGTIME for Christmas. See that clock on the mantel? I have it now---and it works perfectly... It's so precious to me, like my other two older clocks.




I love this picture of my parents --probably more than any of the others. This was the way I remembered them. This one was probably taken in the '60's sometime. Mom always had beautiful flowers in the yard and two gorgeous Dogwoods in the side yard, a pink one and a white one.




Finally, this is probably the last 'family' picture we had. It was taken in 1961 I think. From left to right: my older brother Raymond (Ray), Brother Jimmy (Jim), Dad, Mom and me. Jimmy died from cancer in 1985 ---so brother Ray is the only family member I have left (besides my own children). Ray (who is now 86) is in a nursing home in Jacksonville, FL--and is only in fair health.

Hope you enjoyed meeting my Dad and Mom. I miss them both SO much---and only wish they could have met George.
Hugs,