Her great great grand niece and nephew were among the five generations of her family who were present on Saturday to celebrate her wonderful life.
Her four stepdaughters with her second husband, a Tuskeegee airman who made history himself, flew from across the country to be there. The tall gentleman in the back is the grandson of the physician-professor who confronted Ellamae in nursing school and told her she needed to get out of there and go to medical school. It was another ten years before Ellamae managed that, but she never got turned aside.
One hundred red roses, one for each year of her extraordinary life. At that table by the window, we sat for hours over many days as Ellamae told me her stories. Gratefully, I received them, and wrote them down. We were just in time, because a year later, Ellamae had a stroke and became less talkative. She suffered another one last December, and doesn't speak very clearly anymore. But she can still grasp your hand with unbelievable strength, her eyes alight as she says, "I love you so much," clear as day. I love you, too, dear Ellamae. What a gift you are in my life.