The Women in my…

Time to introduce another trend setting wild woman, my great grandmother.  She was married very young and raised five tall and strong boys. Her husband, my great grandfather, stood six foot seven. She was very small, under five feet tall. She was remarkable in so many ways. She survived being struck by lightning three times! For Real. Who can do that?  In those days, everyone had gardens. Her task for the family was to take care of the garden. She would weed it each day, plant, and take in vegetables, even in the rain.  That is why she was struck three times by lightning. She was a hard worker around the house and for her family.  My great grandfather was a very hard working man, working in the coal mines each day. He worked hard, and he also drank hard. Every night. He never hurt anyone and was a very happy drunk, but he drank his paycheck each Friday. My great grandmother would have to go to his office for many years and try and ‘beat him’ to picking up his check so she could pay bills and buy food. Somehow, after her children were grown, she moved out. We are talking 1920s…. Divorce was Not Done, nor was Separation. She did it anyway. She found herself a Job (oh my, quite the scandal) and her own Apartment, (no one really wanted to rent to her because she was a Woman Alone) and rode the street car to work. She never formally divorced my great grandfather. She loved him. She simply decided she could no longer live with him. She was a wonderful mother to her children and helped raise many of her grandchildren. She made my great grandfather’s lunch each day and managed to drop it off to him. If she felt like it, she would invite him over for a meal. If She Felt Like It. If he were drunk and stopped by, she refused to answer the door. She never went out with another man, she did not want to be with another man, she just did not want to be with a drunk. She took care of her parents when they were ill, cared for all the family’s babies, and lived a content and quiet life. She lived on Her Terms, once her children were grown. When my great grandfather was on his deathbed, she sat beside him, holding his hand, tears streaming down her face, professing her undying love for him. Many saw her as Quite the Scandal. Many in her family would not speak to her and she lost many friends. She did care, but not enough to live with a drunk. For her spirit, her courage, and her loving heart, I am thankful that her blood runs through my veins, and she gives me hope when times are dark….


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