I am going to use these universal titles for a while. I think. 😀
Both sides of my family are extraordinary. I am very fortunate to say that I love very much, all the members of my family.
My father’s mother was very Eleanor Roosevelt-ish. I obviously didn’t know ER, but what I have read about her, she and my paternal grandmother shared many of the same personal attributes. After she passed when I was about 12 years old, I used to dream about her, more than when she was alive. I used to think that she was still trying to guide me from the beyond as I entered adolescence.
It didn’t occur to me until this moment that it was me reaching for her guidance. *tear*
My paternal grandfather worked for the railroad. He was able to convince quite an exceptional woman to marry him; which reminds me of another story I’ll tell later. He was a quiet man and liked to keep to himself; she was woman who loved to party, sing, dance, and drink a wee bit.
The house they lived in when I got to know them was on a main Blvd. Every Christmas, the city’s parade would pass down this street. The house was rather large. Besides being 2 stories, it had a large cellar and an attic like in the Goonies, where you could walk around.
The kitchen was humongous, maybe the reason they bought the house. All the women and most of the men on my dad’s side love to cook and bake. During the Christmas season, pot, pans, bowls, and baskets of food were constantly filled and emptied.
On the day of the parade, the front door was constantly opening and closing with a seemingly endless stream of people coming and going. From the dining room to the kitchen was a long hallway. At the end of the hallway was a large nook that had round table that could sit 8-10 people. It would be covered with platters and baskets of food that friends and neighbors would feast upon all day.
It is amazing the power one person can have on influencing the other members of a family. My dad’s mom was that person. After she died, we stopped going to visit twice a year. His family is from Texas. And after his father died, we stopped visiting, period.
My mother’s mother was a very strong woman. My dad’s family wasn’t anywhere near middle class, but mom’s family barely made it day to day. So bad that my mom was severely disciplined one time after her mother announced she was pregnant, again. (Grandma Romero had my mom, 3 sets of twins, and one more child)
I don’t know which pregnancy it was, but my mom was aware that things were tight, and another child, or two, would only strain that further. Upon hearing the news of a soon to be larger Romero brood, she told her parents, people that can’t afford the children they have shouldn’t have more. I can hear the slap just writing that.
My mom’s mom always referred to my father as, that man. Probably because he took away a wage earner that helped the household budget. Mom only went to 6th grade before she was told it was time for her to get a job and help keep food on the table and shoes on the feet. (Irma, my mom, later earned a Master’s Degree, quite another story for another day)
I don’t remember when, but I did the math. Between my parents getting married and the birth of my oldest sister was barely more than 7 months.
Irma didn’t even want to go out with Ramon, my father, when she met him. He was a door to door salesman. She only agreed to a date to make him go away. The day of the date, she had her cousin stay at the house, hoping he would take her out instead. After 3 or 4 hours when she did go home, he was still there waiting. She did this several times, until she figured out, this guy wasn’t going away.
My dad was a smart, charming, articulate man. He knew my mom is one in a million. My mother, on the other hand, born in a later era, would probably never have married. And most certainly would have used birth control, had it been available.
They were a couple that gave me more love, care, guidance, understanding, nurturing, etc. than anyone could ever deserve. When all is said and done, I hope that I can be to others what they have been to me and others in their lives. Amen