2011 marked the 55th anniversary of my grandparents. I am blessed to have had grandparents on both sides that truly epitomized the line from traditional wedding vows of ”till death do us part”.
All these years, I never had heard or asked my grandparents the story of how they met
So on a recent trip with them, Sajda, and myself. I asked them “So, how’d you meet?”
Pop had come to live with his cousin straight after highschool in look of work. Up in Pennsylvania the only jobs were mining and other jobs equally grueling…and Pop’s dad didn’t want that for his son. So Pop said right after graduation he moved to Baltimore with his cousin.
He wasn’t there that long and he was drafted into the war, WWII. He served two years in Germany as a radio tech in a tank.
Afterwards he returned to Baltimore.
Turns out, the first time they met, almost never happened. They were set up on a blind date by Grandma’s best friend, Ruby who was married to Poppy’s cousin, Ralph.
Poppy ended up being late. He had been held up because his brother had been drinking and wanted to get in the car and go back to Pennsylvania. Pop wasn’t having that and was trying to get him to not drive in his condition. By the time he ended up at the party, it was around a quarter to midnight on New Years Eve.
From what they told me, they hit it off almost immediately…and went from the party to a friends house. Grandma remembers this person had bottles in the snow outside and told “everyone to help themselves to a cold one”. It was winter in the north, and plenty of snow to keep stuff cold outdoors.
Poppy liked Grandma from the start, even proposing to her that night. But Grandma, a young woman with a baby, was a little more hesitant, but she said that she liked his personality from the beginning. But Pop was inisitent, and eventually he convinced her to marry him, and ended up raising that baby, my Uncle Rick, as his own.
They married in July. And by October they were in California. They followed Grandma’s mom who had moved out there and because there was a lot of opportunities. They ended up getting jobs immediately at Hughes. After only 6 months they were back in Pennsylvania, but they almost starved to death and couldn’t make ends meet. My great grandmother had to send them money to fly back to California. They started working at Hughes again. Grandma found out she was expecting my dad not long after that. After he was born, she later returned to work, but he was only 6 months old and my grandma found out she was expecting again, this time my Uncle Randy. After that she didn’t work for awhile.
Poppy at times worked multiple jobs to provide for the family. But somehow he always made things work out.
And as they reminsice, I can tell that although they had some hard times, that inbetween there was happiness in seeing their three boys grow up, eventually get married, have kids…and then their grandkids have kids. And through it all they were in it together.
Now Grandma and Poppy have 3 sons,11 grandsons & 2 grandaughters, 4 great grandsons & 5 great grandaughters and still going strong.
I for one am glad that they were meant to be. Forever your sunshine, Pumpkin!