Happy Birthday America! Grandma loves you!
by Lynnette Ramirez
My mom always says she doesn’t know why she has such creative children. Obviously it’s from her mother, my grandmother, Frances Riechers. Fran or grandma, as everyone knows her, has never pursued the arts professionally, although she’s been known to paint, sing, dance and write songs and poetry.
My grandmother was born in the United States in 1939 and spent most of her childhood raised in a Catholic orphanage by “the nuns.” The youngest of eleven children, her mother passed away when she was just 11 months old. Her father, not able to care for his younger children, paid the orphanage to care for Fran and her siblings. He also passed away a few years later while Fran was still very young.
Her parents were Italian immigrants originally from the Calabria region of Italy. She’s very proud of her Italian heritage. Despite growing up parentless and poor, as well as experiencing discrimination as a child and teen, she loves America more than anyone I know. Last weekend she was invited to read her patriotic poem at her city’s 4th of July celebration. My mom worried she would get nervous getting up in front of thousands of people but I knew she wouldn’t be nervous at all. When I spoke to her the next day, she said at 74 she’s realizing she’s a performer.
It’s never too late to find your bliss or find it again! Happy Birthday America! Grandma loves you!
By Frances Riechers
Many people believe 13 to be an unlucky number
But I disagree
Without our 13 original colonies just where might we be?
And when I hear our national anthem I get chills deep inside
For America you fought hard to survive
Let our young and our elderly all join hands and weave a web across the lands
A web of love so big, so strong and with the help of God nothing can go wrong
For our young are strong and our old are wise
And we shall weave the web across the skies
For united we stand, divided we could fall
America you are the greatest land of all
God Bless America