Memorial Day, Childhood and Growing Old With My Dude

This year Memorial Day is a very special day for me and my husband and it has nothing to do with war, active military, or veterans.

Today is our wedding anniversary!  27 years ago today, I said “I do” to the dude of my life.  Believe me it hasn’t always been a bed of roses but we continue to soar through the ups and endure the downs until we somehow make it through the storms that life loves to throw at us until we can soar again.

Virginia Joiner at 82 years old

Virginia Joiner at 82 years old

This brings me to my maternal grandparents.  Lately I’ve been thinking about them a lot.  They were married over 50 years until she passed away because of a failing heart.  If it weren’t for that, I firmly believe she would’ve made it to over 100.  Here she is at 82 years old.  Now don’t she look just fabulous!  That hair is her natural color too!  I hope I look half that good when I’m 82.

You would never know it by looking at her but she had a harrowing childhood.  She had so many multiple traumas by the time she was 10 years old that her life was scarred to the point that all her relationships were seriously affected.

I never liked to visit because all she made me and my sisters do was clean, clean, clean.  Well, I’m sure not every visit was like that but that’s the way I remember it.  But on the flip side, I think I drove her crazy.  No wait.  I KNOW I drove her crazy.  And I did it on purpose ‘cuz, well, you know, um, I was a kid, and, um I was stubborn and um I really wanted to do what I wanted to do, not what she wanted me to do.

The one thing that sticks out in my memory is when I finally refused to call her Grandmother any longer.  I think I was maybe around 5th grade (I think it took me that long to get my courage up), and one day I decided that the term Grandmother was way too formal.  So I started calling her Granny.

Now you have to understand my grandmother.  She was a very formal lady, which you can get an inkling of from the picture, and she had very formal expectations of us grandkids.  Well, dadgummit, I was tired of being formal so I went to the opposite end of the spectrum and she became my Granny.

I think it horrified her.  Within a day or two, my mother told me in no uncertain terms that I was not to call her Granny.  Well I was not about to call her Grandmother again, so in my mind I decided to compromise and call her Grandma.  That she was able to swallow, albeit with difficulty, but nevertheless, that’s the way I decided it would be.  She still made me clean, clean, clean every time I visited though, but I’m sure now she took a certain amount of pleasure in putting that bucket of water in my hands because to her I was a little ball of **it that really needed to be straightened out.

John W. Joiner, 85th Birthday

John W. Joiner, 85th Birthday

Grandad on the other hand was one of the coolest men I’ve ever known.  Once when they came to visit, he called around for a hotel because there really wasn’t room at the house for them.  When he asked the lady on the phone which credit cards they took, she evidently told him that they took them all because his next comment was that he’d be right down with his Texaco gas card.

Right after I bought my first car I asked him if I could take him for a ride and his eyes lit up.  It was just a little spin around the block but the whole time he was grinning and saying, “This is a nice little car.”  I sat tall in the driver’s seat that day.

Here he is at his 85th birthday celebration having a great time.

They’re both gone now.  As a last hurrah, Grandad passed away in the wee hours of February 29, 2004.  The ole coot had to wait until leap day to make his exit, I guess to make sure we would never forget the day he went to his final home.

So Happy Anniversary to you, my husband of 27 years.  I love you and relish growing old with you.  This is the best time of our lives and I hope it continues for many long years.

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4 Responses to Memorial Day, Childhood and Growing Old With My Dude

  1. layponders says:

    Oh and happy anniversary!


  2. layponders says:

    Grandad was one cool cat. He could dish it out as well as take it with a gleam in his eye. 🙂

    I think I started calling Grandma, “grandma” probably at the same time because I saw you doing it. I do remember making the switch when they were over in Ft. Worth though I don’t recall her reactions. It was probably “oh no…”

    I think another part of Grandma’s early trauma was that they were sharecroppers and moved constantly.

    And to think they made it to 61 years. I’m in awe of it.



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