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Cinco de Mayo is not for me what it is for most people. It’s my Grandma Virginia’s birthday. She passed away when my dad was only 19.

Having never met her, I don’t know much about her, but from what I do know, I’m sure we would have been the dearest of friends. She loved her family, was very affectionate and loved to bake.

She was working at a doughnut shop when she met my grandfather. I often think of that moment, like something out of a movie. Her in her bakery uniform and my grandfather strolling in looking only for a snack. I like to think it was the perfect “meet cute.” It must have been because just a few weeks later, those crazy kids drove to Vegas and got hitched.

She and my grandfather had two sons and raised them in southern California. She ran a strict but loving home and always had some delicious creation coming from the oven with country music on in the background.

Of all the people in the world dead or alive, I’d love nothing more than to have a day with her. Mom and Dad say I look like her (minus nose-got that from my mother’s side) and I must admit that when I look at our pictures side-by-side, the structure of our faces is very similar.

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Born in the 1930s, I wonder so much about her life growing up. Being a teenager during the war, did she lose friends who were drafted and killed? What role did she play in the war effort back home? Was she scared? How did it shape her? What was it like growing up as a young woman in the 40s and 50s? If we did sit down and talk, what would she say about me and my life?

Tonight the parents and I went out to dinner and gave a toast up to Grandma Virginia, or “Ginny” as she was known to her friends.

Here’s to you, Ginny.

Miss you.