Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finding my story: My Grandparents

Family GroupPhoto Credit: anyjazz65

A couple months ago I posted what was to be the first of a few family stories.  I didn't really forget about it.  I just couldn't decide when was a good time for part 2.  This week seems like a good time, so the natural next step seemed to be my grandparents.  A little background information might be in order before I begin.  Unfortunately, I never met my maternal grandfather and my maternal grandmother passed away when I was 10.  Even though they weren't physically in my life, those boxes of old family stuff was inherited from them.  So I felt as if they were with me weaving the story of me alongside me.  My paternal grandparents still live in the same house that I have known my whole life.  We have idyllic family celebrations at their house for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and birthdays.  Their home has always been open and welcoming.  It has weathered a few storms as families will have and come out stronger for it in my opinion.  Perfect? Of course not, but they are pretty awesome grandparents.  I suppose I could go on quite a bit about the stories, but I'm going to try to make them quick.

My maternal grandparents had quite a love story.  He asked her twice to go out with him.  I believe she was with her friends both times.  She thought he was joking.  So the third time he asked in front of her mom!  (Side note: My great-grandmother was intimidating.  Loving, but intimidating.)  The third time was the charm and she believed him.  They began to date and then she moved 45 minutes away.  This did not deter them.  They wrote letters and visited every so often.  Then World War II started.  He signed up so he could pick what branch he entered.  He served in the Army Air Corps, forerunner to the Air Force, and went to war.  My grandmother was amazing and saved most of these letters that he wrote before and during the war.  He wrote her often from Florida, Texas, North Dakota, and India.  Some of these letters are very poignant.  He admitted his faults to her more than once.  He told her she didn't have to wait for him.  She waited and evidently found him worthy enough.  He returned and was discharged in November of 1945.  I believe they got married on New Years Eve 1945.  I'm sure life wasn't easy and there were bumps in the road, but they made it together for 30 years.  Grandma lived for 15 years after he passed away and never in my life did I see her with anyone else.  I truly believe he was the love of her life and vice versa.  I hope to have the strength to live out my love that way.

My paternal grandparents are always laughing.  Grandpa tells the story that they went to a minister's house one night to get married.  They knocked on his door and he married them in his living room with the minister's wife as the witness.  To me, this is a totally foreign idea.  In the minister's living room one night!  Wow, crazy.  The minister told Grandpa to pay him what Grandpa thought Grandma was worth, so he gave the minister $20.  True or not I don't know, but Grandpa still jokes about that!  The story I remember grandma telling me was about their wedding present from her parents. Her parents gave them a cow for a wedding present.  Evidently, it was a good present because they sold it and got some other stuff for it and so on and so forth.  Grandma told me the whole story, but I have forgotten those details.  They had 4 kids and moved around a few times, but the house they are in now is the house that Grandpa built and the kids mostly grew up in.  They are still very much in love, but it doesn't look like the movie version of love.  It is a real love that has stood the test of time and kids and grandkids and great grandkids.  They joke a lot and tell stories.  They feed the family and give whatever they can whenever it is needed.  They go to Wendy's and have coffee with their friends.  I hope my marriage looks like that in 50 years.

What stories do you have to share?  What is special about your grandparents?

3 comments:

  1. My grandparents come and pick me and my brother and sister up every Wednesday and we go do something with them. We always go to there house for Christmas breakfast its like a tradition you could say.. we always look forward to that. They've been together for along time now and now that my grandpa is sick in the hospital she hasnt ever left his side i always hope that when i get married that itll be like theirs.

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  2. That was so sweet it almost made me cry. Trust God, wait on him, and you will find that kind of a relationship.

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  3. My grandparents are great. I always get spoiled when I'm with them but that's what they do right? They always let me and court come down for the summer even when it is inconvenient for them. My grandma would tell me stories of how when I was little what ib would do with her and how I would act. I am always excited when I get to go down to their house in the summer -jordan

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