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Initial Assignment: Tell the story of one woman's life where I live

Jessie Isabelle Partington was born the 3rd out of 7 siblings in New York City in 1899. Her father was a first generation Irish immigrant and a police officer. Her mother was a homemaker. She had 4 sisters and 2 brothers. It was understood that the sisters would work to put the boys through college. One of her brothers was born with twisted legs, and painful braces had to be applied to his legs every day, his legs had to be massaged, and he had special exercises to perform each day. This was Jessie's job in the home. Her mother was verbally and physically abusive to the girls. Her mother had diabetes, and it was not well managed...when Jessie was 18, her mother was hospitalized and jumped out of one of the hospital windows.......but the family continued.....Jessie got a job as a secretary to a business man on Wall Street, she would remain, working her way up to head administrative secretary until she retired at age 70. During World War 1, Jessie volunteered in the USO- a group that supported and provided entertainment for soldiers on leave or going off to war. During World War 2, she went back to volunteering in the USO. Jessie dated a few times as an adult, but nothing serious, never married. Jessie would take vacations every year with some of her female friends and travel to exotic islands on cruises. Jessie invested in stocks and bonds. She lived independently, and after she left her family to work on Wall Street, she was considered "the black sheep" of the family and did not maintain a close relationship with her sisters, compounded by the jealousy her mother had created as children comparing them to each other. Jessie did stay in touch in with her younger brother, whom she had placed braces on his legs everyday as a child. He had married. He had a son who had married and moved to Florida. The year Jessie retired, her younger brother had a heart attack, she sold her apartment in New York City, moved to Baltimore, Maryland...to once again help take care of her brother. However, time changes, he was married now, and 2 strong women in one house doting over one man did not work. Jessie was told she had to go....she had sold everything to be there....she was 70....no children...and none of her other siblings had talked to her in 30 years. Her brother's son who had married and moved to Florida was expecting his 3rd child. They told her she could come stay with them and help the wife until the baby was born, but they would help her find an apartment after the birth. She went to Florida. She got to meet her 12 year old great-nephew, her 2 year old great-niece, and be present for the birth of her other great niece....that was me. Jessie Isabelle Partington is my Great Aunt. We just called her Aunt Jessie. She helped raise me. She took care of me when I was sick and my mother could not leave work. She told me to always believe in myself. She told me to always be independent and be able to handle my own finances. She always praised my mind and told me I could be anything I wanted. She was my living example that a woman could live a full, long successful life independently, never to settle. She lived to be 101 years old. She saw the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 21st century...and she still would smile at everyone, never a complaint. She has, indeed to me, a story worth the tell...and I only wish I could do her the justice she deserves. Elizabeth Partingon, 4/11/13

Comments

Ruth Bech's picture

You do something to me

You made me cry. What a fantastic story, and what a pen you've got, girl. Keep going!!!
Much love,
Ruth

Sharontina's picture

Moved to tears!

I too was moved to tears. I salute the great lady living such a life.

Love

Merlin Sharontina

sorrows.sister's picture

Thank you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article, and thank you for your beautiful comment. Blessings to you dearest.

Sharontina's picture

Same

My wishes and blessings too dear. I would request you to read my poetry too and give me your valuable comments on that.

Love

Merlin Sharontina

Sharontina's picture

Blessings!

Blessings dear!

love

Merlin Sharontina

zephaniah's picture

she was great

Dear I can feel how she would have been feeling when she was asked to leave the home and to live alone and yes you did the justice for her today in the heaven she must be happy to sea that that there are a lot of people due to you who are loving her who are admiring her efforts and her great love for her family and to make the women indepenent adn self made she was a leader she was not a common lady

Sister Zeph
Founder of Zephaniah Free Education

sorrows.sister's picture

Thank you!

Thank you so much! Yes, indeed, she was not typical of her generation, she saw so many things, and was so brave, and lived on her own. I loved her very much. Thank you for your beautiful comments about a very special woman. Blessings to you dearest.

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