Monday, June 8, 2015
As per our tradition, we had lunch with Engineer's Grandma after picking up Diva from summer camp.
Engineer's Grandma is a remarkable woman. From her razor sharp intelligence to her deeply rooted concern for the philanthropies she supports to her unwillingness to let anything stop her, Grandma is one of the most interesting women I've ever met...and a force to be reckoned with.
Grandma can contribute to conversations on investments as effortlessly as she can about bats. She is an artist and a spitfire and I can only hope to be half as well-rounded and engaging as she.
In all the time that I've known her, Grandma has talked passionately about gourds, politics, and New Zealand, but I had never heard her say much at all about Engineer's Pepaw.
Pepaw was a jolly man of few words and even fewer words if Baylor or the Masters was playing on TV. He always had a smile on his face and let Grandma do most of the talking. I remember him with great fondness. It is unfortunate that Diva never really got to know him since he passed away while she was quite young.
Back to Saturday's post-camp luncheon.
Out of the blue, Diva asked Grandma if she had any pictures from her wedding day. Grandma was only too delighted to oblige and told us that she didn't have a wedding dress. There was no big wedding since Pepaw was on leave (it was 1944 and he was in the Navy). He just called her up and said, "Let's meet up in Dallas and get married." She told us she packed a bag and did just that.
She looked through a drawer of old photographs and soon found a photo of the two of them on their wedding day. Upon seeing the picture, Diva exclaimed, "Oh Grandma! You are so beautiful! You look like an actress from one of the old movies Nan & I watch."
Diva was right. Grandma did indeed look just like Jane Russell. She was wearing a typical dress indicative of the era and had fantastic pin up girl hair and darkly painted lips while Pepaw looked ever so handsome in his uniform.
While Grandma reveled in the compliments from Diva, Engineer, and me, she looked lovingly at the photograph and sighed, "Oh! I was so in love with him." Her tone of voice was that of treacle - rich and sweet - and I related to her sentiments. I feel exactly the same about her grandson.
After a slight pause, she gave a coy smile and said, "I was in love with his uniform really."
It was so very special to share in that moment of unguarded tenderness and to catch a glimpse of their madly in loveness.
1-4-3 DM for asking just the right question.