December 26th, 2004


Wistful giggle of the day just added a Florida Death index to its records, so I just had to look up my paternal grandmother. The back story:

Nanny was born December 24th, 1910, in Omaha, Nebraska. She was Jewish and the daughter of a man of German or Austrian descent and a woman of Egyptian descent. (This will be important later.)

Our family had a tradition of everyone getting gifts when it was someone's birthday. Every Christmas eve we'd go to Nanny and Pop-Pop's house and exchange gifts (well, mostly get them because we were kids). This kind of made us feel like we could partake in that "Christmas thing." (I had it easier than my cousins because my other grandparents were Christians and really did do the "Christmas thing," and I always got to partake in it.)

When Nanny went to file for Social Security Disability she had to get a birth certificate from the state of Nebraska. When she called them, she found out they didn't have a birth certificate for her because they didn't keep good records of "certain births." The woman on the other end of the phone asked her when she was born.

Without missing a beat, realizing her check would come on the same day, and wanting to be able to have an excuse to celebrate on The Big Day, she answered, "December 25th, 1910." When she died, I inherited a charm from a bracelet that showed her birth date as "December 24th."

I always smile when I think about my grandparents. Both of my grandmothers were especially good at thinking on their feet.

I was cleaning out my e-mail and came across the thing from, to which I have a membership. After I'd told the story about her changing her birth date to December 25th, I felt a need to validate myself to make sure I wasn't blowing hot air.

Sure enough:

Renee Kahlenberg
Death Date:  
14 Oct 1988
County of Death:  
State of Death:  
Age at Death:  
Birth Date:  
25 Dec 1910

Heh. She really did legally change her birth date!
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