Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Long Distance-Dating: Part II - Interview With a Military Wife (My Grandma)

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, I talked about ways to stay connected while dating long-distance. Today
I interviewed my grandmother, who is visiting from Texas, about how she stayed in contact with my grandpa while he was stationed with the Air Force in Vietnam.
You can see her in the above photo in the sleeveless blouse and yellow skirt talking to Mamaw, her mother.

Grandpa recently told us how his orders had been misdirected and he ended up in Vietnam instead of Thailand. We laughed at the story, but I saw that my grandmother's face was perfectly serious throughout. I thought: This must be hard 
for her to make light of, because during the events of this "funny" story she was preparing for the hardest year of her life.

What follows is my interview with my grandmother about that hardest year of her life. While my grandpa was in Vietnam she was home alone with my mom, who was nine-years-old, and my Uncle Dale, who was 6-years-old.

Where did you live for that year?
We bought a house in Plainview, Texas, which was right across the street from my mother. I could send Sharon over to her house to practice piano in the afternoons while Dale played outside in the backyard and let me rest. She could also watch the kids. It was a real help to me.

How often did you get to communicate with Grandpa and by what means?
I wrote him a letter probably three times a week and Charles was able to telephone sometimes through an operator on one of the ships. He was able to say something to me and then he would say, "Over," and it was my turn to say something. When I finished I said, "Over,". But it was heard by all the ships so the conversation was kept light. Dale had to have his tonsils removed during that time and Charles was so worried about him and mother came over to help. 

Did you get many letters from Grandpa? 
Charles was very faithful in sending letters. He also sent a tape recording of his voice to his children so they could hear his voice. I was so anxious to hear from him and the fact that we were communicating was so important to me. When he sent the tape and the kids got to listen to his voice I know that it affected Sharon more than Dale. Both of them missed him so much. At night I would sit in the rocking chair and I would read or something and make sure they were asleep. Dale especially would wake up in the night and need attention. 

What was it like being "single" for a whole year? 
One day my brother Clyde took me to get my car fixed. And Clyde mentioned mentioned to the mechanic that my husband was in Vietnam. The next day Dale said, "Mom, the sheriff is coming for you." I looked out the window and this man, the mechanic who had worked on the car, was coming up the front walk. I was talking to Blanche, you know, who was in Hawaii, and I said, "Blanche, don’t hang up." 

I held on to the phone and made it look like I was having a very important telephone conversation. The man must have seen that and seen that Dale was home, because he turned around. He didn’t even get to the porch. Clyde told me later that he liked to chase skirt, "Don’t ever let him in the house, Lee Ona." But Clyde always went to him, because he was a good mechanic. 
Thank you, Grandma, for sharing about your life. 

I love you,
Lucy Rose

Tomorrow I will interview Sheldon about his perspective on dating long distance. 

Here is a super old post about the last time my grandma visited...seven years ago!
Here is another grandparent post.
Here is a Sheldon related post to get you excited about tomorrow.
(Mailbox photo by Daria Nepriakhina, hands photo by Roman Drits via StockSnap.io)


  1. What a cool interview! Your grandma seems like a strong and brave woman. I love the first photo. She looks so classy! And beautiful! I'm glad that you and Sheldon don't have to be long distance for a year.

  2. @sayslisa

    Thanks so much, Lisa! She is exactly that: a strong and brave woman. I will tell her your comment about being classy. It totally agree and I love her style. Even now she gives great thought and attention to her clothing.

    Yes! So glad that Sheldon and I have not had to have a FULL YEAR of LDD. That might be too much. Oh boy. Did you and J have a full year?

    1. Basically our whole relationship was long distance until we got married. I think we were actually in each other's company only about three months out of the 9 months we were officially together and 18 we were communicating.

    2. Oops. We were officially together 14 months.

  3. This is a beautiful interview! I love this!