This is a tribute to my grandmother, Lois Elizabeth Works Thompson. She is my paternal grandmother.
I'm the only granddaughter on my father's side. She was so excited when I was born, because she finally got to have a granddaughter. I was born on November 22, so for awhile, she would send dresses to my parents on the 22nd of every month. I had more dresses growing up than anybody I knew.
When I graduated from college, I stayed in San Antonio and lived with my grandparents for about a year and a half. It was pretty cool. It's fun to get to know your grandparents as people. I would keep the house clean and cook for them.
One time, my grandma told me the story of how she met my grandpa. She said that she was going on a group date with some other girls. My grandpa was in the Air Force at the time. He went on the date because he had a car. I asked Granny, "So you never would have met Gramps if he hadn't had a car?" She said no. That's incredible to me.
They got married in August. He shipped out to Germany in September. His plane was shot down in October and they didn't know where he was. He was MIA.
My grandma found out she was pregnant.
In December, all of these presents were delivered to my grandmother from my grandfather. He had ordered them for her before he shipped out.
In January, they found out that he was in prison camp, alive. He was in prison camp for 18 months. He was there when my aunt was born, his first child.
Granny told me that story, and that's when I knew she was the strongest person I've ever met. She lived through getting married so young, falling in love, finding out she was pregnant while not knowing if her husband was alive or dead. She told that story like it was no big deal.
Because my grandpa was in the Air Force, they moved around a lot. They lived in: Louisiana, Alabama, California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Japan, Hawaii, and Texas.
Before I got married, we had the same initials, LWT. I'm not a Thompson anymore though. It makes me a little sad that we don't have the same initials now.
We both married Johns. It's an easy name to remember. Lois and John, Lauren and John.
For my grandparents 65th anniversary, the family bought one of those ads in the paper. I was honored to write it for them.
Here's what I've learned from Granny:
Everything is better if you drink some champagne.
You don't need money to have good taste.
Always have some cheese. It's good for when people come over.
Keep your pantry stocked.
You don't have to cook fancy. You just have to cook well.
You can't help who you're kin to. But you can love them anyway.
It's not gossip. It's just passing on information.
That's my Granny!