On October 13, 1902, my grandmother was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was the child of what they used to call, a girl in trouble - meaning Grandma was born out of wedlock, and the father had decided to disappear after having relations with the young teenage girl. And so, because times were much different a century ago, this poor frightened kid had her child and my Grandmother was immediately put up for adoption. Though she never met her mom, I was told she believed she was of Scandinavian decent, probably Finnish. Today I feel blessed to have enjoyed so many wonderful times with my grandmother - she was an amazing woman who went on to do great things. Her biggest gift to the world was not the Ape House at the Milwaukee County Zoo, or the countless donations to charity. In truth, her biggest gift was that she poured out the love in her heart on everyone she met in a way that could only be described as reckless abandon. It didn't matter if you were the fancy pants CEO or the humble maid, or the guy on the Harley Davidson riding in big parade every summer in Milwaukee - she loved them all. And with all of her heart too.
So in honor of this great lady, Frank Random and I created a special video for her on her 100th birthday, which was back in 2002. Having seen it a million times before (video editing, writing the narration, re-purposing the music etc does take a lot of time and effort you know), I decided to just look out at the crowd as they took it in for the first time. The room was filled with over 100 people easy, and I have never seen so many people well up with tears. You see, when you love people like Grandma did over the course of her 100 years of living well, people have no choice to love you in return. God bless you Grandma. I love you too.