Do you have a favorite grandparent story? In honor of March for Meals, we’re sharing our favorites with you!
My grandfather was a tank commander for Patton in World War II. During the war he was injured, but still had to fulfill his military responsibility upon his return home. The military assigned him a job as a lifeguard in Miami Beach because it was something he could do even with his injury. One day, he saved the life of a woman who was caught in an undertow. That woman ended up being my grandmother!
My wife Linda’s “Grandma Stevie” was like a grandmother to me. She was the last living grandparent between us and she was so sweet to us when we were first married – she always gave us $20 for pizza (we had very little money at the time). She received Meals on Wheels for several years once she stopped driving, and the program enabled her to stay healthy and independent for many years. In fact, the program saved her life. When she was 94 years old, she fell in her backyard and broke her hip. She couldn’t move and ended up lying there for almost 24 hours…until her Meals on Wheels delivery person arrived and grew concerned that she didn’t come to the door. He walked around back, found her, and called 911. I’m proud to work at Meals on Wheels today, serving our Houston seniors.
-Warren Wenner, Director of Meals on Wheels
My granny, or “Miz Van” as everyone called her, was a strong, black woman. She bore 14 children and lived on a farm, and on that farm, there was a bull. He was a big mean bull, and we kids were all afraid of it.
My grandparents kept the bull tied up on the edge of the property, but one day he got loose and trampled into Miz Van’s vegetable garden. She leapt out of her rocking chair, grabbed a hoe, and hit that bull right square between the eyes. I was so scared – I thought that bull was about to trample her! But he just shrugged it off, snorted, and walked away. That bull never got back in Miz Van’s garden any more, though!
-Henry Hammond, Senior Meals on Wheels Program Coordinator
I grew up here in Houston, but my grandma Felicia lived outside Lafayette in Youngsville, Louisiana. We called her “Mom Brown” and we spent every summer with her. During the school year she would send us packages full of popcorn balls for a treat – we loved that.
-Pat Johnson, Meals on Wheels Program Coordinator
We called my grandmother on my mother’s side Medea. She lived in California, but she would always send us packages of homemade brownies. And the best part was that she would make a special pan for each of us eight kids – prepared exactly how we liked them. Some got pecans, some got walnuts, some got fudge frosting…everyone got their own batch. Mine always had no nuts – she always remembered.
Now my “Granny,” my Dad’s mom, lived here. She used to take us walking all over Houston. In the summer she babysat us along with all the neighborhood kids, and some days we’d walk from her house on the southeast side all the way up to the Heights! We’d collect cans in her shopping cart and visit with the people we met along the way. From this I learned that everyone has their own set of circumstances, their own story – but almost everyone is willing to talk with you if you have a friendly face.
-Tracy Davis, Meals on Wheels Program Coordinator
Grandmother Sue lived in Miami, and we loved it when she’d come to visit us here in Houston. She would always let me stay up past my bedtime on school nights, playing gin rummy and watching the lotto together.
-Tabinda Ghani, Meals on Wheels Manager of Client Services
My grandpa lived in Mexico but came up to visit us several times each year. He even learned English so he could talk with us about movies and books and sports – all the things we were interested in. He also loved to cook and used to teach me how so I’d be able to cook good food for him when he got too old! He would even take the girls shopping at the mall – he loved spending time with us.
-Claire Orellana, Meals on Wheels Customer Service Specialist
My grandmother Irene was my namesake, and she was a quilter. She quilted for everyone in our extended family, all by hand – she made such beautiful things. My favorite quilt she made for me is blue with red yarn detailing. Each one of my daughters was wrapped in that blanket on the day they were born. It’s a very special quilt.
-Irene Samples, Meals on Wheels Office Specialist