My grandma Hilda was lovely. She was born on January 14th, 1929 and would have turned 84 earlier this week. Unfortunately, she was taken from us way too early…in October of 1992. I was just fourteen at the time. My memories of her are few and fading, but I know that she loved Scrabble and crosswords. I also know that I loved her so very much and that I experienced a crippling hurt when I realized I wouldn’t see her again.
Before she died, she wrote me a lengthy letter that I hid in one of the posts of my day bed for safe keeping. My mom later sold the bed, and I think the letter was still in the post at the time. Believe me, I have torn my childhood room apart looking for that letter time and time again. It’s nowhere to be found and it breaks my heart every time I think about it.
Luckily, my dad, who called her “Mother,” is able to tell me stories about how lovely she really was…even when she was being a tough cookie. He told me that she made him memorize their phone number, in case he ever got lost, and that he still remembers it to this day.
He also told me that she was raised on a farm just outside of a little town called Sardis, Georgia, and that she was the oldest of four children. After graduating high school, she moved to Savannah, Georgia where she got a job as an operator for the telephone company. She met my grandpa in the late ’40s and they had two kids, my dad and his sister…and the story goes on.
At any rate, I wanted to share one of my dad’s stories about my grandma. I gives me a chuckle every time I read it and I hope you enjoy it, too.
“During the ’50s, there were very few working moms. Consequently, at times, it seemed that we had a half a dozen moms instead of just one. Someone’s mom would usually catch us if we were doing something we weren’t supposed to. I remember that Mother made me wear these ugly black galoshes the metal buckles over my shoes when it rained. I hated those boots with a passion, so one day, as I walked past my friend, Ray Maurillo’s house on my way to school, I took my boots off and hid them behind his garbage cans.
When I came home from school, I stopped to pick up my boots and they were gone. I guess I thought someone had stolen them, so I continued home wondering how I was going to explain to Mother where my boots were. It turned out that no explanation was necessary, but I did get a spanking. It seems that Ray’s mom Lee had seen me hide my boots and took them to Mother. I got busted many, many times like this by someone else’s mom….”