A Tale of Two Grandpas
I have been fortunate enough to know both sets of my grandparents. All four of them were at my wedding. I was well into my twenties when my first grandparent passed away. I have had a special relationship with all of them and would like to remember my grandfathers on this Memorial Day.
Both of my grandfathers served in the military during World War II. My mother’s father, Lowell, served in the Army and my father’s father, Charles, but better known as Bud, served in the Navy.
They were both quiet about their time in the service, but had stories to tell about the food, or their buddies, or the sleeping conditions.
My Grandpa Lowell was quiet and gentle.He loved to sit on the swing in his screened in porch. He always made eggrolls for our Christmas gatherings. My grandparents used to drive to Tulsa for church and he would always take the back roads instead of the interstate to avoid paying the three dollar toll. He and my grandmother used to dog sit for us and my grandfather would always pat my boxer on the head and tell him he was a “good big fella.”
During the last five years of my Grandpa Bud’s life, I (along with my sister and our husbands), moved into more of a caretaker role, which allowed us to have deeper conversations that revealed a lot about him.
I remember a lot about my Grandpa Bud because I spent a lot of time with him throughout my life. He worked night shifts at a tire factory most of my childhood and I remember he was more reserved and quiet then. But in his later years, when I was an adult, he was talkative, opinionated, and extremely funny and playful.
He loved telling jokes. I would have to allow extra time at the doctor's office because all the nurses knew him and he would chat them up and flirt with them for as long as he could.
Going out to lunch was the highlight of the day. But breakfast was a pretty big deal as well. He and his dog would eat oatmeal, toast, and sausage together every morning. He adored his dog Pete and would often tell me when I was vacuuming or cleaning up around his house that it only mattered what he and Pete thought about the house and they were fine with it the way it was.When my husband and I bought our first home, Bud came with us to open houses every Sunday afternoon for months. Any house that had a driveway facing north was unbuyable because if it snowed or iced, it would take much longer to melt because it wouldn’t get afternoon sun. Needless to say, we bought a house that faced south.
Bud and I talked on the phone every day and saw each other multiple times a week. He died on Memorial Day last year and I still miss him very much.Although neither of my grandfathers died while serving in the military it’s important to remember our veterans on Memorial Day. I think every Memorial Day from now on will be different for me because one of my grandfathers died on the holiday. It’s important to remember them for what they did for our country and how they contributed to our everyday lives.
Kippo wishes everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day this year.