By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

My mother used to say that a woman who will tell her age will tell anything - but now that she's 91 Years Old - still standing, still active, still beautiful, still in her own home, still cooking, still styling, she brags on it!!!

 And we're so happy and proud of her. 

There is much love in the Dulan Family for my Mom. 

My Grandmother - a Hornbeak, was a full blooded Cherokee beauty who married my Granddad, a Black Cowboy, Farmer, and Fine Black Man - named her Ruby Love  for her favorite piece of jewelry, and because she came out such a deep dark red when she was born; and later when she became  a lovely little chocolate drop all her older siblings talked of how much they loved her.  And it's a fitting name for her.  {NOTE: My Grandmom loved jewelry and had a trunk full - turqouise, rubies, garnets, amythests, tiger eyes, all set in silver.  I used to love to get into it and wear it when I was a little tyke - hence my love for turquoise and silver.}

She was raised on 180 acres of land that my grandparents owned on the Oklahoma/Texas border, in a place called Burneyville, just outside of Ardmore, OK, north of Gainesville, TX.  We had so much fun going "down home" to visit my grandparents and romp around my Mom's childhood digs.  She grew up with a lot of love, affection, and support.  Being the baby of the family, she was somewhat spoiled - which meant we were likewise spoiled by extension. 

Mother is a Pisces with a touch of Aquarius - creative, talented (Mom has a beautiful singing voice)  artistic (my sister is an artist because of her), soulful, clairvoyant, mysterious (she used to make predictions and be on point); designed her own clothes, cooks like a gourmet, and designs a home like nobody's business - things we each have inherited from her in some measure or another) - we all have much to be proud of in sharing her DNA.

She is my favorite Black History Month Subject - because of her we are all Black and proud from birth - she made sure of it.  As well as being proud of our Indian (Native American to the politically "correct") Heritage.  My mother was one of the first Black people to work in the US Post Office in Oklahoma City, when desegregation struck down the discriminatory laws.  Even then, they weren't trying to give her an even break, and set up tests for them to qualify for the job of sorting mail.  My mother actually went home, got a corrugated box, alphabetized it, and practiced throwing and sorting mail until she could do it in her sleep.  She passed the test on her first try, much to their shock and dismay. They had to hire her.  They didn't make it easy, but she stuck it out, and rose in the ranks anyway for 37 years.  

I learned from her to never say never; that there is always a way either over, under, around or through, if it's something you really want to do, be or have.  We have so many things we learned from her that we've tried to pass down to our own children, and hope they will likewise pass down to theirs. 

She and my dad were married for 47 years before his passing in 1987 - and loved each other through thick, thin, and four boisterous kids - She worked full time, but always had breakfast ready in the morning; and a hot meal ready in the evening when we got home.  She was a serious disciplinarian, but also taught us good manners, grace, study habits, and the value of honesty and hard work.  

One of her kids  was always getting into hot water, taking on crusades, participating in Civil Rights Marches, and sit ins - having to be bailed out of jail for taking stances against racism, discrimination, etc.; militant by day, bookworm by night; party animal in between -  (wonder who that was?  Hmmmmm???)

She's the last remaining sibling in her own family line, having lost her next to youngest sister, Aunt Mary, three years ago - she was 92. 

My mom is a beautiful woman - African Black and Cherokee Nation, who raised all four of us to love each other and be proud of who we are - she still lives in the home we were raised in. When we go home to Oklahoma to visit, we all camp out in the family room in front of the fire place, crash on the sofa or pillows on the floor; pop popcorn (straight from the kernels, not that microwaved stuff), and talk about the great times we had. One of the other things we do is put on a T-Bone Steak on the grill outside, and some succulent Buffalo Fish - and feast!

My Mom has all the photos from our childhood, her childhood, and beyond, but she won't let me take them and put them in albums.  And , being the modest Black woman she is, I can't post a photo of her without her permission.   But I can tell you that she's got the complexion of rich, dark chocolate, with beautiful silvery white hair, a perfect blend of Black and Indian lineage; and is a slender teeny lady.  We all have some portion of her beauty, and all of us have her big legs and long graceful fingers.  She and my Dad produced some beautiful kids, if I do say so myself - and I do!

I remember the first time I learned that George Washington's birthday was the same day as hers, and in Oklahoma City schools, we had it as a holiday  - I used to call it Mom's Day - not President's day.  She's the only person in the family that used to have her birthday off as a national holiday.  We used to tease her about chopping down cherry trees. 

I didn't get to visit her this year for her Birthday, but just spoke to her  by phone - she was telling me that the temperature in Oklahoma City is a balmy 72 degrees - I offered to trade some of the sunshine there for some of the snow we had here.  She and my brothers are going out for a Birthday dinner; my sister is flying in from Chicago to celebrate as well. 

Of course she won't see this greeting on Blogger, but I just wanted to share with all of you how proud we are of my Mom and how much we love her - and to all my Oklahoma Homies, stop by and give my Mom a hug for me, please. 

This is my Love for Ruby Love - thanks for having me, raising me, sticking by me through all the dreck and muck - and for being the eternally beautiful, gracious, loving savvy woman that you are.
Stay Blessed,
Love You Muchly
Gloria Jeanne
www.gloriadulanwilson.blogspot.com/ECLECTICALLY BLACK NEWS


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