Dispatches from 20th Century immigrants, part two: Wanda

December 18, 2016 • Posted in guest blog, memoir writing, Uncategorized by

If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you know that Wanda Bridgeforth is a 95-year-old witty and talented writer who has attended the memoir writing class I lead in downtown Chicago for over a decade now. What you might not know about Wanda is that she is an immigrant: she was born in Canada.

You can link to the Beth’s Class blog to read Wanda’s essay about reconnecting with her biological mother 32 years later. The woman she has always affectionately called Mama is the woman who adopted Wanda as an infant and loved and raised her on Chicago’s South Side. Here’s a poem Wanda wrote about how Christmas was celebrated with her Mama long ago.

That's Wanda from way back on her 90th.

That’s Wanda from way back on her 90th. Photo courtesy Darlene Schweitzer.

Christmas Days

by Wanda Bridgeforth

“Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is nigh,”

Mama said with a twinkle in her eye.

“We have much to do,

There’s a job for each of you.”

Our thoughts went to Santa checking his list twice,

And Mama could tell him who had been nice.

Willie began to cry ‘cause he knew

After all, he’d been naughty a time or two.

Mama said, “The next thirty days are like Lent,

During them you’ll have time to repent.”

Daisy chains to make,

Pies, cakes and cookies to bake.

”We must clean every nook and cranny,

And have gifts for all, from baby to Granny.”

We’d get dressed

In our Sunday Best

And ride the bus to the store

Where tables of toys would cover the floor.

Santa will be there in his suit of bright red,

We’ll have our “pitcher took” with him in his sled.

After we give him our list

On the forehead we’ll be kissed,

And try to be good ‘til Christmas day

When Santa arrives in his big red sleigh.

bethfinke On December 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Me, too.


Brad On December 19, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Loved Wanda’s poem.

bethfinke On December 19, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Ah, you sentimentalist, you.


Annelore On December 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Ah, our Wanda with a million talents and the biggest heart. Happy Christmas to all. A

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