I never knew Grandpa Fred, he died at the age of sixty and was buried on his sixty-first birthday. They think it was due to a blood clot, or a heart attach- I am not quite sure. . . Grandma RueLeen is still madly in love with him. She never remarried, and often times I hear her say, "I love you Fred!" She also blows him kisses! It makes your heart swell huh!? I have decided that I am going to marry a man as sweet as my grandpa. He worked hard to support their family, often working a few jobs at a time. Grandpa was sensitive to Grandma and I can only imagine the way they looked at each other! I want to love like this.
Grandma and I spend our time together talking about her love life, and I being the hopeless romantic that I am eat it up. The way she gets lost in her thoughts as if she is reliving them. Grandma will giggle about how flirtatious she was and shake her head saying, "Kels, you have to understand that there was a war!" I love it when she says that, like it is a legit excuse!
I will best tell their story from my memory. I hope to include some of my Grandma's own two-bits. Oh, and for my Grandma's sake please remember "there was a war".
The beginning of their love story begins before they were married. It begins before they even truly got to know each other. This story begins with a man named Doug, a man who Grandma was dating and could have even loved. A good man that shares my blood.
To get the story straight I need give a little bit of a background. Grandma was born in 1926, she belongs to the generation of those from World War II and the Great Depression. She grew up in a small town that her family had deep roots in, note: this also means that a lot of the people that Grandma went to school with were related to her. . .Not very good odds when playing the dating game. While she was in high school boys were often times being sent off to war. "It was a scary thing, young boys would leave right out of high school and we wouldn't know if they would come back." Since there weren't many boys around, the ones that hadn't left yet were scares and if you know anything about economics then you will understand when I say that the boys were compared to the law of supply and demand. . .
Throughout high school Grandma dated a boy named Doug. And as clique as it may sound, her parents didn't approve because Doug, unfortunately, was related to Grandma. They were cousins. Grandma reassured them that it wasn't going to go anywhere and despite all efforts Grandma continued to date Doug. I don't know what Grandma's feelings were for Doug exactly, she always beats around the bush at that part, but Doug was had fallen hard for Grandma. I am sure, from my own personal experience, that Grandma probably grew to love Doug in return- after all it is hard to not return the love someone else feels for you.
Doug was a year or so older than Grandma. As most were, Doug was called into the service soon after he graduated. Grandma was still in high school. Grandma doesn't talk much about how she felt when Doug left, but she did say that before he left Doug asked her to wait for him. She agreed, but when telling me the story always makes a note that she didn't know what else to say-
"I shouldn't have said that, I know, but I didn't think anything of it. Besides I didn't even know if I would see him again. Where else was I going to go anyway?"
They wrote letters, continuing their relationship through the US Postal Service.