Growing up in South Carolina, I lived far away from my grandparents and so I didn't really get to know them all too well. When I came home from my mission 8 months ago I was living in Utah. Since I love the Salt Lake City Temple, which happens to also be close to where my dear Grandpa Alvey lives, I would schedule a time to go down to Salt Lake and I would make sure I to visit Grandpa as well.
As I would sit visiting with Grandpa, my Grandma Sharon would often get brought up. Grandma passed away before I was born. My Mom thinks we were very good friends up in Heaven before I came down to earth, and as I listened to the memories Grandpa shared with me I know my Mom is right. Grandma and I were definitely good friends.
So over the course of the next couple of week I am going to share the memories I have collected of Grandma Sharon. She was a tough woman. Somehow knowing these stories has helped me realize if Grandma could do, then somehow I can figure out a way to do it too. These memories are sacred because they are from a man who loves her more than words can describe. Grandpa cannot speak of Grandma without getting choked up, consumed with the love he has for the girl who married him on her 17th birthday.
I have written this first memory as I remember my Grandpa telling it to me. It was the first time I ever visited him by myself:
"Ya know, Sharon sure was brave. I remember she didn’t get along too well with her parents. I was in the navy, ya know. I was in San Diego. One night I called her up and she was crying. I told her I would go on leave soon and, well, if she wanted to we could get married when I was back home. Well, she agreed. It was her 17th birthday that we got married. Then I had to go back to base.
The first three months she stayed with her parents while I got things all set up in San Diego. Then she moved on out to come live with me. Not too long after your grandma was pregnant. Grandpa paused after saying this as if reminiscing the pregnancy glow that must’ve suited my grandmother well. And at that time, ya know, we had to take two buses in order to get to church. Well Sharon had bad morning sickness, but every Sunday we would get on the bus. She would sit next to the window and turn pale. When we got off the first bus to switch to the second one, Sharon would go hurl in the bathroom. Then we got on the last bus to go to church. She was sure brave, your grandma was.
When the baby was due, we ran to the navy base hospital. I was following right behind her when we came to the double doors that led to the delivery room. In went Sharon and as I was about to follow some guy held out his hand and said, “That’s as far as you go sailor.” So I stood there in the waiting room while Sharon gave birth without me by her side. Such a brave lady."