Tuesday, October 28, 2008

someone mentioned stories ....

I was reading one of my regular reads and the author mentioned how times have changed how we tell 'stories.' Way back in the old days (you know, when I was a boy) video cameras were not as prevalent as today. Some people had them, but no where near like today when every cell phone is a camcorder and every person is a video-journalist. Way back in those days we had this archaic method of saving stories - we told them to our children. We passed history down by word of mouth.

This got me to thinking about stories I had heard and stories I knew to be true. I thought about my Granny. (Don't tell the other kids, but I was her favorite grandkid.) My Granny was an amazing woman. Here is only a small part of her amazing life:
One of my heroes

My grandmother on my dad’s side is one of my heroes. She is a truly amazing woman. She passed away in April of 2007 at the age of 92. She lived a full and colorful life. She related tales to us on several occasions as I was growing up. I will try to relate some of those as I remember them and add a few that I witnessed personally.

Husband #1
She married my papaw when she was 13 years old. He was 27 years old. He owned a farm and had a two story house on it. When they moved in, papaw told her she had no need to go upstairs. As is curiosity, it finally pushed her to venture upstairs one day while papaw was working in the fields. When he returned that afternoon, she asked him about all that stuff in one of the rooms. He beat her. She had found his still. Papaw was a moonshiner. Her brothers were going to kill him, but she convinced them not too. She told them that she would just leave him. She was 14 and pregnant. She gave birth to dad when she was 15 years old.

Husband #2
After papaw she married a guy whose name none of us seem to remember. He was inconsequential as he was unfaithful within six week and the marriage was ended.

Husband #3
Then came June Griffeth. He was the papaw I remember best. I remember granny telling the story of June coming to meet her parents for supper. She and her three sisters were at the table with her parents and June. One by one the sisters excused themselves from the table. What June and the parents didn’t know was the reason. They were fist fighting with the neighbors. They were actually in the middle of a highway with traffic stopped both directions and they ‘duked’ it out. In spite of this, she and June married. He died when she was 70. I remember his as a good man. They were married 40 years.

Husband #4
When granny was 72, she told us grandkids that she had to get remarried. When we asked her why, she told us that she “was horny.” She had to get married as she didn’t accept sex outside marriage. She married Henderson. He was a great guy for her. He worshipped her. He put her on a pedestal. She was like a kid with him. He passed away when she was 80.

Husband #5
She called me when she was 82 years old. Dad had forewarned me of her impending call. I asked her what she wanted. She told me she wanted me to marry her. I told her, “Granny, there are laws against the in this state, but if we go to West Virginia, I think we can do it.” “No no no ,” she said, “I want you to perform the ceremony.” Of course, I agreed. I skipped my 20th year high school reunion and married my grandmother to Homer.

Now, Homer had some issues. He was jealous of her dead husbands. I am quite sure none of them were coming back to steal her. He also had another issue that caused problem. Homer had a erectile problem. At 82, Granny was still about some sex. Homer got that problem fixed. Homer died a couple years later. I think she might have been just wearing these poor fellows out.

Husband #6
Before she met James, she was seeing a guy that was younger than dad. I remember that conversation at Christmas time. That didn’t work out and she met and married James. James was a good man. Granny was like a young girl. She got excited about simple things. She loved to pop bubble wrap. She loved good conversation. She loved my wife. She said, after meeting Tammy for the first time that I “had picked a pretty one.”

Granny was infamous for her “prettiest one yet” line. Every great grandchild born was the prettiest one yet. She had a stroke about a year before she passed. She had some troubles after that with clarity. She was clear most of the time, but could be muddled in the mornings.

When Dad had surgery and the subsequent events that lead to his death, she didn’t know. She had a stroke just about that same time. Her veins collapsed so she was not able to be fed intravenously. With no food and only as much water as would be expressed in wetting her lips, she held on for over a month. When we visited her, she would squeeze our hands. She couldn’t speak, but she would make her desire known. She pulled my hand close. My voice and dad’s voice are very similar. I think she thought I was him. I let her know it was ok to go.

Four weeks to the day after Dad passed, she joined him.

1 comment:

Octamom said...

What an amazing Granny! Wow! So glad that you know all the history, all the of the players (with the exception of husband #2--but he doesn't seem worthy, anyway) and some of the great one-liners with each of these marriages. Your Granny sure knew how to live!