Parents that are Grand…
I used to get this question a lot… ‘How did you turn out so normal considering your crazy childhood?’ I have to admit, I never knew how to answer. I think ‘normal’ is a relative term, and I used to be stumped by the question. It took me years to finally figure out what kept me sane through the craziness… my Grandparents!
|Vera Jane and Forrest Grady Tate (circa 1965)|
A little back story… My grandfather was a Southern Baptist minister, who was very physically abusive to his 4 kids. They were very strict with their kids. Their only social life was all church all the time! Sunday morning and evening… Tuesday bible study… Wednesday prayer meeting…etc. So they all left home as quickly as they could and proceeded to go hog wild. They’ve all had drinking problems, bad marriages, etc.
My mother was the least stable of the lot. She’s been an alcoholic for most of my life (she wasn’t legal drinking age until I was 4), and she’s been divorced six times that I know of, not to mention all the men between (and sometimes during) marriages. I recently learned she’s also bi-polar. So dear old Betty has had quite the ride through her life.
|I was just 21 in this picture with Granddaddy and had 2 babies of my own.|
I didn’t put this all together until I was about 45 yrs. old. Betty and I would be estranged for sometimes years, and then she’d cry and apologize and I’d give her another chance, because I so badly wanted it to be good. I have given my mother more chances than you can imagine. It’s always good… even fun for a while… then she goes to the dark side and hates me.
|My Grandparents on the 50th wedding anniversary|
I have to add a strange but somewhat funny story to end this post. Betty and I were visiting my Grandparents one day when I was about 8 years old, (she was on her 3rd husband then) and I sassed my Grandfather. She looked at him and said, “If I’d ever spoken to you like that you’d have beat my ass!” Then he looked at me and said, “Well maybe I ought to.”