noun // 2. a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.
My mom and I spent an early June weekend in Ohio. One of our first visits was with the oldest living member of our family: my great grandmother, Caroline DeOrio. 103 years old. If stubbornness runs through our veins it is because of this woman. Blood runs through our veins in the first place because of this woman. She started it all nearly a century ago, and today she FaceTimes with distant granddaughters and crochets blankets for great great grand sons, who's names she cannot recall. She tells my mother she's beautiful, but why the grey hair? She tells me I am pretty, but do I really need to wear glasses? To photos we show her of my brothers: "How handsome, but why earrings? I don't like boys with earrings." This woman has a will inside her that is unmatched by any individual I have ever known. A will that has been passed on, and though possibly diluted throughout the generations, sits inside us all. Caroline DeOrio, for all of her flaws, ridged ways, sharp words, and tough opinions, lived – and still lives – a life that is truly remarkable if not for the sole reason of being the one who gave life to the dozens of beautiful people who are my family.