38,325 days…a life truly lived part 6

If you have been following this series you will know that it is a dive into my family history, concentrating on the role of my deceased Grandmother who lived to almost 105 years old. If you would like to catch up you can here, here, here, here, and here.

Through my early teens, I didn’t have 2 things. Friends, and the trust of my parents. So, without a friend’s house to go to, and to spare me the indignity of a babysitter at 13, I continued to hang out at my Grandmother’s house on Friday night and Saturday morning. Come to think of it, my dignity still being a small factor, I really didn’t have a sitter because I tossed a rubber snake onto the lap of a sitter at age 12, effectively scaring the shit out of her, so sitters were no longer an option.

Grandma was glad to have me. The breakfast would continue to be the main event, but the rest of our ritual changed a bit, I would help her around the house, do housework or painting with Grandpa or just hang out and read a book. I enjoyed it. At age 13 Grandpa taught me how to use a lawnmower and I would cut his grass. At his suggestion, I began to solicit neighbors to do theirs as well, my neighborhood as well as theirs. As these things happen, I started to get busy cutting lawns and spent less time with Grandma.

At 15 I got a job at a local supermarket. Deciding that if I don’t come to her, my Grandmother would come to me. She did all of her food shopping on Saturday morning and I made sure that I made time to talk to her. She would stroll in, very upright and proper, dressed as well as she would for church. My friends and co-workers thought she was wonderful, and she soon became royalty. My co-workers bent over backward to see that Marion got whatever she needed. One of them once asked of her, “Marion, you’re retired. You could shop any day of the week why do you put up with the crowds on Saturday.”

“Because,” she said, “Billy isn’t here on a Tuesday morning now is he?”

‘Nuff said. I hadn’t actually realized that was why until she said it. But that’s Marion. A creature of habit and everything is done for a reason.

In 1983 my Grandparents celebrated their 50th Wedding anniversary at a Country Club in town. We managed to surprise them. Over 200 guests came to see Marion gracefully drag her clumsy but smiling husband across the dance floor. She was majestic, proud and as it occurred to me then, virtually ageless. When my turn came, it was my honor to dance with her. And I don’t dance with anyone.

Sadly, as life got busier for me I saw my Grandparents less and less. It wasn’t just on Holidays, but it was nothing like before. Life happens. But I always made it a point to call them and make sure they were ok. They always were.

In 2002, my beloved Grandfather passed away. He contracted pneumonia, which in turn “activated” dormant pockets of Asbestos in his lungs that he contracted while working on warships in the Navy. He was 92. He died, in their marital bed, holding my Grandmother’s hand. She was rightfully devastated. But not defeated. Many speculated that she, like many spouses of elderly, would go soon after. My mother, father and I all said No Way to that, she’s got a lot of years left in her.

We had no idea how right we would prove to be.

To be continued…

34 thoughts on “38,325 days…a life truly lived part 6”

  1. it’s a lovely story about your grandmother, Billy. All honour to her. Sadly I never knew mine but I have tried to be good to my grandchildren . We once were very close but you’re right: they grow up, need to go their own way, but still stay in touch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great seeing the pics of you, Bill! Glad you’re coming out of the shadows. 😉

    Obviously, I’m catching up after my long weekend of revelry, can’t wait to read the next installment! I cried a bit when Gramps died. He lived a full life but still died too soon (damn you, asbestos). I always feel bad for those who had to serve and, in the long run, got bit for their service. It’s all too common and always sad.

    As others have said, great storytelling … keep being Billy, Billy! (but … wait … in your secret identity you’re supposed to be wearing glasses! 👓)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Same happened to my grandparents. Granny outlived grandpa by a decade.
    Life happens=shit happens. I regret too not seeing them that often when life/shit started happening.

    Now I’m curious about two things. You said your grandpa died holding her hand but said in one of your previous posts he wasn’t good for her. Why is that?
    Maybe you said it, but I forgot. Were they your’s dad’s or mom’s parents?
    Finally, I’m curious about this section of your life-You didn’t have friends, and the trust of your parents.
    So, maybe some time in the future…, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I said that they weren’t good for each other I was joking about how funny he was and how humorless she sometimes was. That’s all.
      These are my mom’s parents.
      And as for the last part, I meant that I didn’t have friends to do sleepoevers and such, and I wasn’t old enough to be left alone.
      I hope that clears it up.
      thanks for the read

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This is awesome! I would have loved to have met Miss Marion. (That’s the way I was raised to address elderly people when I only knew their first name.) She sounds like a wonderful person all around and was obviously a great and positive influence in your life. Any of us are lucky to have even a single Miss Marion in our lives. You are truly blessed that she was a part of your life. And she was blessed to have you as a part of hers.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I seem to remember a series I came across during a deep dive about New Orleans and a little storm that you wrote about? It was awesome. I’ve got one arrow in the bag bud, a lot of stories to tell before I die. You have a whole quiver full of arrows.
    Not a challenge, but it may give you a spark. I love telling my family history. Whether people like it or not it feels good to tell it

    Liked by 2 people

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