Growing up I spent most of my summers in Roanoke, VA with my grandparents. Papa was a Southern Baptist Minister and Granny, well, she taught high school cosmetology. I like to claim my independence from her. She was an independent woman before her time. She also owned her own beauty salon so she was a business owner. My sister and I did much of our traveling with her. She loved exploring new places with us. We would also travel to Florida to visit my Aunt Estelle. Talk about a sassy lady… she had my Uncle Keith driver her everywhere because she didn’t want to learn how to drive. I laugh about it now. He was a WWII Purple Heart Recipient. He was paralyzed on the beaches of Normandy. Yes, he still drove her around – everywhere. He did it happily. What a gentleman!
My Grandfather ended up buying a local service station and worked so hard. Some of my best memories are of my sister and I playing school for hours. Granny would take us to Kroger to pick out movies and grab out mint chocolate cake. Then we’d relax and watch movies for hours while getting a little chocolate high. Another favorite memory was helping my Papa with his woodwork. He’d build things out of wood for hours and I’d paint them. He’d also enter his work in the Roanoke Art Show. My sister and I love going to the art show.
My Mama, sister and I all met in Roanoke this past summer for a funeral. We walked the market, ate great food and laughed so hard together.
Their love story still brings tears to my eyes. I’d laugh so hard listening to my grandmother tell the story. My grandfather chased her around the skating rink for hours. He was determined to make her like him. You see she had a boyfriend. Papa called him long arms. I swear to the day we lost him, he would still get a little jealous of that boyfriend. It was the most adorable story and you could feel the love when they told it. Finally, Papa won her over and they were married for fifty years. She never had to go to the hospital aside from giving birth until she got sick after Papa passed. Within three years we lost her too. Their story really belongs in a book.
“The greatest act of rebellion today is chivalry and being a gentleman.” – Anonymous