Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's Yaya's Birthday, Yeah, Yeah!!

Today is my wonderful cousin, Yaya's birthday!! I won't say how old she is today......... I can tell you that she looks great, is still teaching part time after retiring a few years ago, and is always so fun to be around!!! She is the oldest daughter of my Uncle Matt, my mom's brother.

Yaya's real name is Margaret Ellen. When her MUCH YOUNGER sister, Pat, was first starting to talk, she was confused because there were two other Margaret's--my mom and an aunt on her mom's side of the family. So she called her Yaya and it has stuck. You have to say it a certain way--it's not like the yaya and the yaya sisterhood!! Our family coined that way before the book and movie came out. So Yaya has always been Yaya to us. Her parents and my aunt Teresa all call her Margaret Ellen.

Yaya is well known for her sense of humor and for her enchiladas. She learned to make enchiladas with her husband, Tony. Tony was a great cook, a great politician, and a great storyteller. He cooked for all kinds of big parties and political fundraisers over the years with Yaya by his side. Some of my most favorite memories are these events. Tony was a great man. He was a state senator from Flagstaff and was very supportive of education, as he had been a teacher and principal. He did a lot for education in Arizona. After Tony died 11 years ago, NAU named a dorm after him--Gabaldon Hall.

The song on the blog is a song that Tony always liked to dedicate to Yaya. It's Margaritaville. So I am putting it on here in honor of her birthday.

So, Yaya, when you read this, I hope you know how lucky I feel to have you as a cousin (sister). And I loved having Tony as part of our family!! You are truly a special person!! Happy Birthday!!!!!!!

P. S. Couldn't resist the title for this blog!!!

February 5th is also our Uncle Johnny's birthday. He was born in 1903, so this would have been his 106th birthday--wow!!

4 remarks:

Anonymous said...

Sheila-----I think you made a mistake about Yaya being the oldest daughter. Yaya has always told me that I am older than her!!??! But you sure got everything else right about her. She is a beautiful person inside and out. Yaya is very kind and generous. She has been so wonderful to her nieces and nephews, my daughter, Maggie included. She lets them live with her rent-free for as long as they need or want to.
I love it when people mistake me for her. I can tell how much they really love her.

Happy Birthday! to my dear sister, and I won't say the number!

I love you,

Anonymous said...

I don't see why it's so bad to say we are celebrating Yaya's 29th birthday!?!!!! She's very young ;) I remember as a young girl practicing saying "Yaya" in the car on our long drives out to Arizona. I never wanted to be heard saying it the wrong way. Aunt Yay has the most beautiful, caring, charitable, loving heart. We "kids" of hers are so blessed to have her! She teaches us so much through her example, life stories, and all out coffee/wine/breakfast/lunch/or dinner chats. She is SO much fun!! And an AWESOME cook!! Love you Aunt Yaya!!!! Love, Maggie

Anonymous said...

Hey, Aunt YaYa is the best. She has been there for everyone. She took me in when we moved back from Africa. Those were the good ole days. I will never forget them. We all love you. Love, Shawna

Kerri said...

YaYa, there aren't words available to describe what you mean to our family. You are someone who EVERYONE knows can be counted on to throw some ice or a tortilla at some stupid fan, and then blame it on an innocent child. I love that you are outspoken, and that you share that strength with all of us. I absolutely know that I've learned that when you believe in something and feel strongly about it, you should voice that opinion - especially when you are well informed about it.

You have been a tireless educator - not only of so many lucky students in Phoenix, but our family. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and drive with us all.


Oh yeah, Happy Birthday. Do you have your ID for the next time we go to the airport for a scotch? I'd hate to have to deal with that drama again. HA!