My Grandfather’s Life

My Grandfather’s Life

Should I Tell a Young Relative That Her Grandmother Tried to Swindle Me?

My grandson and family visit my grandfather’s farm in Georgia, and are in the car driving with him. Grandpa has been talking to Grandma, and Grandma is on the phone, telling Grandpa about all the family stories of the good times, and the bad. Grandpa, who has learned to put himself in the other person’s shoes, wants to know exactly how Grandma feels about her life, and the last thing he wants to do is tell her how lucky she is to have had him, when her life has been so hard.

My grandmother and husband were married in the country in the 1930s. The only income they had was what she received from her husband’s earnings as a housewife and homemaker. She never went to school, but she worked 12 hour days in the summer to help keep her family fed. My grandparents were an extremely poor family. They lived with my grandmother’s sister and her five children. My grandmother had three daughters and my grandfather two daughters. She worked at hard manual labor, and my grandfather worked hard at manual labor too, as a tractor operator, in which he could not even afford the tractor he owned. He lived in a third generation farm house.

Grandfather and Grandma had seven children during their marriage, with one of those children dying from malnutrition before he was ten years old. My grandfather was then 14, and still living with his grandparents. He and his mother and sisters grew in to adulthood under the oppressive conditions of poverty and lack of education, and she was forced to work for 12 hours a day to support her family. During World War II, my grandfather, who was raised in the south, served on an airplane supply plane with the United States Air Force. When I think of his service, the idea of giving up his education and his dreams of starting his own life in education and a family, comes to mind, but that thought is not even a consideration.

When he was 18, and

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