I enjoy love stories, especially real ones. And for some reason love stories that began in the 1940s have always intrigued me. The start of this love story may surprise you, the ending as well. My Grandaddy, a sharp and intelligent man from Sims, was in the midst of a courtship in the 40's with Ava Gardner, yes the actress! Until the day he met a beautiful young lady, right down the road in the very small town of Bailey- my Granny, Mary Grey Wiggs.
The rest is history. They even drove across the state line the day before her eighteenth birthday to get married. Granny made Grandaddy send the first engagement ring back. Not because of diamond clarity or because it was too small. It was too big. I love that story. Granny didn't want bling, a fairy tale, or a life of riches. She wanted a simple life and she wanted that with Grandaddy. Before Grandaddy passed away he gave me that beautiful ring. I love to wear it and tell people that story.
They had one son, my Daddy. All was simple until the arrival of their first grandchildren- 2 rambunctious twins a few decades later. Shortly after that, my bother was born. The male grandson that would carry the family name. I can still see the pride in both of their faces the day Bradd was born. And I can't help but smile as my brother and sister in law anxiously await the birth of their second son next month.
But ask anyone around town and they will tell you- AJ and Mary Grey loved "the twins." Even when we broke things, called them just about everyday to pick us up early from school, and ruined a family friend's wedding when we were asked to be flower girls at the age of 3.
Granny and Grandaddy were extremely generous with their resources which most importantly was the time they invested in us. They never missed a school play, a game, or an opportunity to spend time with us. At 16 years old when I stopped by on Friday night, they told their best friends across the street they couldn't go eat fish that night. Grandaddy was a builder and worked hard but I would have never known. If we were at the house he played baseball with us, showed me how to use a hammer, and taught us how to ride a bike. In fact they bought us our first bicycle and car. He is the reason I love UNC sports and Chevrolet. You see this story of unconditional love isn't about their love story. It's about the love they shared with us.
As the summer comes to an end, I am reminded of the time they spent with us and the impact it had on my life. Both of my children are named after them. I'm putting my business and work goals on hold to do exactly what they did with me. I'm planning on spending the next 3 weeks with my children.
In the fall, if you need assistance with your blog or storytelling for your business, I would love to talk. In the meantime, I will be outside, at the pool or curled up on the couch reading with Joseph Reed and Charlotte Grey, named proudly after my unconditional loving grandparents Albert Joseph and Mary Grey.