Miss Laura Mae’s House. Part 11

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I got my biscuit and settled on the back step, singing the alphabet song.

Mother launched right into her conversation before Miss Laura Mae got the coffee poured.
“Laura Mae, I just got the strangest letter from Mama. You remember I told you my brother in the army got married not long ago and his wife was expecting.”

“Sure do. How’s she doing?”

“Well, Mama got a letter from John saying Wanda, that’s his wife, had gone back home to stay with her mama till the baby came. He didn’t say anything at the time, thinking she’d be back. I don’t know if she’d left him, or what, but he hadn’t let Mama and Daddy know. Her daddy was high up in the military on a base up in Nebraska. Anyway, the first thing anybody knew was that he’d gotten a letter from Wanda’s daddy saying she’d had twins, a girl and a boy, and that she and the babies had been crossing a railroad track and hit by a train. He said her daddy said they’d all been buried and to never contact him again. He said he just let it be.

Mama and Daddy, of course, were all upset, and Daddy caught the first bus to New Orleans to see about John. When he got there, John said he was fine and insisted Daddy go straight back home. He said he didn’t have any leave coming and didn’t even want Daddy to spend the night. Daddy came on home, like he asked. My sister, Annie came in that weekend. When she found out what happened, she told them something strange she had kept quiet about since it didn’t seem right. She’d gotten a letter from Wanda announcing their marriage. She wrote and told her and John she was coming over for the weekend. Well, when she got there, John met her at the bus station and told her she couldn’t stay. Wanda had gone off somewhere with her mama and daddy and he had to work. Annie couldn’t imagine what was going on. She went back home and reread her letter from Wanda, and thought it looked like it might be John’s handwriting. Mama went back and pulled out a letter she’d had from Wanda and thought it was possible John had written it, too. They don’t know if the whole thing was made up or what. I don’t know what to think. It all sounds too crazy to be true, doesn’t it? Have you ever heard such a thing? Please don’t repeat what I told you. I haven’t told another soul, but I just thought I’d pop if I couldn’t talk to somebody. I sure don’t want Bill to find out. He already thinks my family’s crazy. He’d never let me forget it.”

“Now, Honey, I hate to hear all that, but don’t be worryin”bout me tellin’ yore business. That whole story doesn’t sound right, but I didn’t git to be this old without learnin’ when to keep my mouth shut. Besides, since I’m the only one you tol’you’d know where it come from, wouldn’t you? Has your brother ever done anything odd before?”

“No, he’s always been steady as a rock. He went in the CCC when he was fifteen, then on his off time he took any job he could get, and always helped Mam and Daddy as much as he could. He finished high school in the Army since our little country school only went to tenth grade. I don’t know what to think. I’m just worried to death about him.”

“Well, I know you are, but folks deals with trouble in all kinds of ways. You’ll just have to let him be.”

“You’re sure right about that. I’ve got three little kids and I couldn’t go see about him if my life depended on it. I do feel bad for Mam and Daddy worrying about him.”

“I know you do, but they’ll have to make their own way, just like he will. Things have a way of workin’ out.”

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/update-to-miss-laura-maes-house-part-11/

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/miss-laura-maes-house-part-12/

Grandpa and I /Guest Post from Erika Kind

I am so delighted that my friend Erika Kind agreed to do a guest post for me.  I have read and enjoyed hearing of the wonderful, warm relationship she had with her grandfather.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we all had a person with whom we share unconditional love and the bond that is never broken?

Grandpa and I

My grandfather was born 1927 as the only child of his parents. As far as I know he had a happy childhood. But his good times ended before he was even 20 years old when he was conscripted for WW II. He often told us about the war, his struggles in captivity and starving till he was just skin and bones. My grandfather was Austrian.   After Hitler invaded Austria they had to fight for Germany.  At the end of the war when all the horrible facts were revealed to the general public, he was shocked to no end to learn what he had been forced to fight for. Due to infections and lack of food, he developed cirrhosis of the liver which eventually killed him. My grandfather was a policeman all his life,. He was living and working in Vienna. Here is a photo of him with his father. Grandpa and Father

My “Opapa”, as we called him, was a tall, handsome man. He was married twice. His first wife was my mom’s mother. They got divorced when my mother (also an only child) was 11. When I was born, I was his pride and joy. I am sure that we are true soul mates. We had this certain connection. He was a young grandpa at the age of 43. When I was about 5 months old my parents moved with me to another part of the country about 600 km away from Vienna. Afterwards, I only saw my grandfather when he came for vacation for two weeks a year or when we went to Vienna for 3 weeks during the summer break. Grandfather Handsome That’s me and grandpa. Grandpa and Baby Erika My grandfather did everything for me. He always knew how to cheer me up when I was mad or sad. I loved the way of making me laugh, imitating voices and roles of popular comedians. He loved music. We always sang as we walked through the woods. He also kept me entertained imitating instruments like drums and trumpets. He built a huge model railroad layout for me, though it took him years since he could only work on it during his two week vacation with us. Grandpa knew everything about the Austrian history, really EVERYTHING! Whenever we walked around Vienna, went to a museum, or visited a castle or burg, he was like a historic almanac. Of course he not only knew about the historic persons and how everybody was related, but all the data of all happenings. Naturally, I did not appreciate it a bit. As a child or teenager, I did not listen, finding it boring.  Only days after he had died, a question about history came up. I reflexively thought I could ask Opapa… and started crying the next moment. During my teenage times I pulled back and didn’t talk a lot. I was in a lot of pain and didn’t let anybody in, not even my grandfather. I know that I was not nice at times and even mean. Grandfather never ever said one single word. He never acted hurt or annoyed. Never! I guess he was the only person in my whole life who never made me feel guilty. He just let me be. Five days before he died he called my mother. I was planning a visit a week later and he wanted to catch up with data. He wasn’t well at that moment and I am pretty sure he knew what was coming. When he called I was waiting for my sister to get ready for our Volleyball practice. We were already late. I did not take the call and just told my mom what to tell him. In the end I could have taken the call because they ended it before I left.  I missed my last opportunity to hear his voice. It took me many years to forgive myself for missing this chance. My grandfather died in 1990 at the age of 62.  In my mind, I still see his smiling face and  his curly grey hair going weird in the wind.  I still see the way he was dressed, the way he walked and moved and hear his special laughter.   Most of all I still feel his loving spirit!Grandpa         Erika for post