An Army/Navy Family

, , , , | Related | August 18, 2018

(As my grandmother has gotten older, her memory has unfortunately started to get worse. Whenever I visit, I ask her to tell me family stories or look with me through memorabilia she’s collected throughout her life. This is to help jog her memory, but also so I can write things down I think the rest of the family would like to remember. One day, we’re looking through a photo album together, and we come across a photo of my grandfather in his Army uniform.)

Me: “Wasn’t Grandpa so handsome?!”

Grandma: “Oh, yes! This was the picture he gave me before he left to fight in WWII.”

(We flip a few more pages, and a wallet-sized photo drops out from between two pages. I pick it up, and it’s of another young man I don’t recognize, dressed in a Navy uniform.)

Me: “Grandma, who is this? Is this Grandpa’s brother?”

Grandma: *squints at the picture* “I haven’t seen that in years! That was [Man]. He was a Navy man, you see?”

Me: “Was he a friend of yours and Grandpa’s?”

Grandma: “Sort of. He was the other young man I was dating at the time.”

Me: *trying not to sound too surprised* “What?!”

Grandma: *shrugs* “You know, girls always dated more than one fella back then, unless someone asked us to go steady. It was very casual. Why you young folks want to go steady with someone you’ve only had one date with is beyond me.”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “I’m assuming [Man] went to fight in the war, too?”

Grandma: *sighs* “Yes, he left right after your grandpa did.”

Me: “So, what made you choose Grandpa in the end?”

Grandma: “Hmm? Oh, because he came back first.”

Me: *now I’m losing it* “Grandma! That’s the only reason?”

(She just smiled at me before putting the Navy beau’s picture back in the album and going to make us some tea. While I hope this other man made it safely back from the war and lived a full life, I’m also grateful she chose my grandpa because, you know, I’m alive thanks to that decision. Funny how life works, isn’t it?)

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