The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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My mother's memory of one of the many times her grandpa stood up for her, this time against his own aunt.

My mom really loved her Grandpa Johnny, and for good reason.

He was a really great man. He was very nice and cared greatly for his family. He was also very productive and worldly, despite having grown up in a relatively small town in Indiana. I didn't know him that well honestly, my memories of him before his mind started to go were mostly of how he'd always give me M&Ms out of an old gumball machine like contraption. I do still have some of the woodwork he made though. He was a very good craftsman, having built things like my oldest sisters' crib, various decorations for the holidays, and most importantly, his own house. Back in the day, the man was really something.

Anyways, one winter when my mom was about 5, as she recalled, it had snowed and she went out to play in Grandpa Johnny's yard. She remembered that she had been out there for a while, making a snowman and generally playing in the snow. However, she suddenly found the need to go to the bathroom, really badly. She rushed back up the patio and through the front door, only to be met by, as she refered to her, Aunt Maddie. However, she wasn't really her Aunt, but Grandpa Johnny's (his mother's sister). My mom generally didn't have a positive description of her, mostly just that she was not nice by any means.

Aunt Maddie stopped my mom in the door way and began to yell at her. Apparently my mom was still covered in snow while she was trying to get inside and Aunt Maddie wasn't having any of it. She insisted that my mom wait outside, on the patio, until the snow came off. My mom, in her defense, tried to explain that she really, really had to go to the bathroom. However, Aunt Maddie helf firm, not letting her through and continuing to yell.

Right as my mom was thinking she'd have to go right there in the snow, Grandpa Johnny showed up, drawn by the yelling. My mom quickly explained to him what was going on and Aunt Maddie tried to yell some more. Grandpa Johnny, awesome as he is, simply shot Aunt Maddie a glare and told my mom to come on in and get to the bathroom, ignoring the snow she would drag in. She happily complied and headed to the bathroom down the hall.

Though she wasn't there, my mom said she could still hear Grandpa Johnny telling off Aunt Maddie. The line she recalled most was him telling her to "Never yell at my sweet grandchild like that again". According to my mom, this lasted for quite a while.

Apparently, when she got out of the bathroom, Aunt Maddie wasn't complaining anymore.

Grandpa Johnny, may he rest in peace, was definately a caring and strong man.

Grandpa Johnny and Aunt Maddie

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