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This is a question Grandparents

My awesome grandad flew in Wellingtons in the war. Damn, those shortages were terrible. Tell us about brilliant-stroke-rubbish grandparents.

Suggested by Buffet the Appetite Slayer

(, Thu 2 Jun 2011, 21:51)
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My grandparents
Are now both in their 70s, and I love them both dearly. They both grew up in a fairly rough area of Glasgow, Govan, but back in those days it wasn't so bad as it is now.

My Gran's father was Italian, and he was a raging, alcoholic wifebeater. My poor great gran suffered many years at his hands, but he would never touch the kids. They were reasonably well off for the times; they used to get hot soup and bread and butter from home brought into school for them each day. My gran was a mischevious child - she once threw a cat off a nine story building because she wanted to see if it had nine lives. She also once pushed her aunt into a bucket of wet cement, and on another occasion pushed the aforementioned aunt into the snow, and shovelled snow up her skirt. She left school young, 15 or so, and worked up till about five years ago.

My grandad was one of twelve kids - four of which died young, so he was one of eight really. In contrast to my gran, they were dirt poor - certainly no hot soup for them, it was whatever they could salvage. My grandad also left school young, and worked as a pipe-fitter for decades.

They both met for the first time at a wedding, aged around 17 - he was the best man and she was the maid of honour. The night before the wedding, all members of the wedding party were sat around in my grandads mums house, playing cards. My grandad make a joke at my grans expense, and she responded by giving him what she swears to this day was a slight push on the shoulder. He says it was a shove, as he fell off the chair, and the chair broke on his way down. He said that right then, in that moment, he knew he was going to marry her one day.

And he did! They married one year later, and had my uncle another year later, when they were 19. My uncles birth was a traumatic one - my gran was kept in hospital for seven weeks afterwards. Immediately after he was born, the doctors took my grandad aside and told him to start planning a funeral, as his son was going to die. Thankfully he held on, the fat bastards alive and kicking today. The whole experience was that traumatic for my gran, she swore she would ever have children again. Thank heavens for accidents, as she gave birth to my mum three years later, and without her I wouldn't be here ( and wouldn't that be a massive shame...!)

My granparents were grafters, they worked hard their entire lives. My grandad worked as a pipe fitter, working all hours and travelling all over the country. My gran worked as a cleaner, in a bakers, whatever was available. My mum remembers her childhood as being filled with laughter, food, and love. My gran makes the best home made soup you've ever had. They are the most sociable people you will ever meet- walking down the street with them, they always bump into someone - they seem to know everyone in Glasgow. I remember being wee and forever being taken on trips with them, or playing with them in the park, or even just going round to theirs for tea and a 'piece and jam'. Gran would sing us daft scottish songs and make us giggle all night.

The years went on, as they do, with them retiring with a nice wee lump of money, and they used to take holidays about six times a year. Until drama unfolded when my grandad has a massive heart attack. He was a smoker, and it had finally caught up with him. He needed a triple bypass, and it was touch and go whether or not he was going to make it. He pulled through, and quit the fags. Five years later though - lung cancer. Advanced enough that they had to just take his whole lung out. The scar is a fucking monster - starts underneath his ribs and travels all round his shoulder to the top of his neck. Obviously only having one lung reduces his ability to do everyday tasks, and he cant jet off on a plane like he used to, but doctors are amazed by his recovery. My gran still has him bringing her breakfast in bed every morning! And three years ago, they hired a massive camper van with two friends and drove it all over Europe - how many people in their lives have ever done that, never mind doing it in their 70s?

But obviously now, my grandparents are getting older. It might sound stupid to say but to me my grandparents have always been young - my gran was only 45 when I was born, so they've always been young and fit and able in my head, not white haired wizened oldies. Watching them get older, iller and less able is heartbreaking to me.

My grandparents are amazing role models to me. They never let the bad stuff get them down, they worked through it and came out wiser and stronger and happier. They are both still incredibly positive people. They both worked so fucking hard, raised a wonderful family, all while being two of the most kindhearted, loving, funny, wonderful people to be around. They're incredibly accepting, non judgemental people - I'd feel happier introducing a new boyfriend to them than I would to my own mum. They've always been blissfully in love - they've been together for 50 years and still tell each other they love each other every day. They are a definition of soulmates.

My grandparents fucking rock.
(, Thu 2 Jun 2011, 22:33, 1 reply)
they rock, don't they?
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 5:31, closed)

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