Did This Really Happen? Fact or Fiction

March 25, 2013

Things My Granddaddy Told Me

By Mimi Jenkins

My granddaddy was a wonderful man, full of stories and tall tales.  However, one particular story he told me when I was five years old, stuck with me and I wonder right today if granddaddy was telling me the truth or was it one of his fabricated tales.

“Back when I was knee high to a grasshopper, I had to pick cotton,” said granddaddy.

“How old where you,” I asked.

“Let’s see, I had to be about four or five years old,” He spoke in a low, whistling tone.  You had to get nearly underneath him in order to hear what he had to say.

“You didn’t know how old you were?”

“Well, back then, we didn’t have birth certificates.  Folks would guess how old you were based on your stature.”

“What if you were only five and they thought you were twelve and made you fight in the war or something?”

“Funny you should ask that, because there were a whole lot of us mistaken for the wrong age.”

“Like who,” I asked with concern and excitement in voice.  My eyes were bugged out as if I had seen a ghost.

“There was my daddy, Jethro.  He was a huge baby from the get go according to my grandma.  He weighed fourteen pounds at birth.  Well, to make a long story short, he was eight years of age, when he mistaken for a twelve year old boy and sent out in the war to fight.”

“Why didn’t his mamma and papa stop them from taking him granddaddy?”  By this time, I went from concerned to stress in a matter of minutes.  I just knew a couple of grey string had popped in my hair.

“It’s like I told you, no birth certificates.  There was no way of knowing for sure how old he was.”

“They just let their son go off to war without putting up a fight,” I said with tears rolling down my face as if someone had turned on a faucet.

“Oh, come now child, no sense in getting all bent out of shape.”  His countenance showed no expression as he patted me on my head all the while telling me it was no use in crying over spilled milk.

“But granddaddy, how did they overcome the loss of their son to the war at such a young age.”

“Singing,” he said as he jumped to his feet with a smile on his face and reached for the radio.

“How can anyone sing at a time like that?”

He looked at me with an earnest look and held out his hand for me to take.  He could see his story was depressing me to no end.

“Come now child, we can’t change the past, but we can do something about the present.”

“What does the present have to do with anything? How can you forget about the past,” I asked while standing on his feet for guidance and looking up at him for an answer.

He thought about if for a while and said, “With hope, you can do anything.”

“What’s hope granddaddy?”

“Hope is when you never give up no matter what trials and tribulations life drags you through.  Hope is believing in yourself and thanking those that have paved the way for you to look towards your future.”

“You know what granddaddy?  I think me and hope are going to get along just fine.”

One Response to “Did This Really Happen? Fact or Fiction”

  1. […] Did This Really Happen? Fact or Fiction (mimijenkinsmomentoftruth.com) […]

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