My grandma and grandpa Mortensen were amazing. My grandpa was a WW2 veteran who served in the navy. His ship was shot down and he survived. He lost a lung and had other trauma like being lost out at sea for some time. He was a tough old man. My grandma worked in a garden nursery for years and they also had the most beautiful yard and garden. They would grow the hugest pumpkins, as a kid that I could fit inside of. 🌻 sunflowers forever remind me of my grandparents too, they always had beautiful ones in their garden. They were farmers and raised cows, pigs and more. So we really got to see a lot growing up. My grandpa had cool old Crosley cars, an old jeep Willys and a neat dodge he had a camper on. It was the Mule motor home. They always had a real mule on the farm too that my grandpa used for packing him around during hunting season. Their house was so fun, so freeing on the farm.
I remember running through the rows of corn, picking veggies and fruits, raking up hay in the barn and just having a blast feeding all the animals and helping to care for them. My cousin Alisha and I spent a lot of time there, at least a weekend or more a month because we loved it so much. My grandpa had built an electric car we would take up and down the gravel road because back then they had 5 acres and it was country around them. After they passed away my family sold the farm, but before they sold it I got to live in the home my grandpa had built with his own two hands as they raised a family. My cousin lived there and my brother too all at separate times. So we all got to enjoy living where we loved, the house my grandpa had built and where our dads were raised. Once the house and property sold, it was torn down, but the good of that is that the property was sold to TVFR our local firefighting company and one of their stations, #68 sits on part of the property that was once my grandparents. It’s off of Evergreen RD, the road we drove the electric car down our whole lives growing up. It’s pretty neat we could stop at the fire department and be where once my grandparents owned and where we ran around in the field it sits on. The neighborhood behind it also was built into homes, they sold that acerage first and the street name is Mortensen Lane after my family.
My dad drives the dodge that used to have the camper on it that was my grandparents motor home. My dad drives it daily as his work truck. The jeep my grandpa drove my whole life my dad also has and it’s funny because my memory of my grandpa in it is he always had his left leg sticking out, it has a spot for it to lay straight and my dad does the same thing. I love seeing these two vehicles almost daily, it’s such a reminder of my grandpa and I love seeing them still in life with my dad.
My uncle Eric has the Crosley my grandpa had restored too. Such a neat pic my dad got one day of my uncle out driving it.
The bond that my son and my dad have is amazing. I can fully see how my dad came from his parents, because I felt a similar bond to my grandparents. Often my son goes to his grandparents and I think what the heck he doesn’t like me. But that’s not true. I was the same way with my grandparents and that is special to me that my son has that same type of relationship with his grandparents. It warms my heart.
The one thing I realized as I wrote this is how much of my life is still around. The bond I had with my grandma and grandpa my son has with his grandma and grandpa. Things we grew up around and that were in our family, are still in our family. A lot of my tattoos are representative of my grandparents wether it’s a cow skull, a sunflower, an anchor to represent the navy as my grandpa was a navy vet or the birth flowers for their birth months. All my tattoos have meaning and I absolutely love having so much of my grandparents represented in my tattoo art.
May Jack and Betty Rest In Peace. They are never forgotten and I am so thankful for all the memories I have with them, and all the memories I have tattooed on me too to always remind me of them. I did get one of my grandmas rings after she passed, it has an emerald stone, her birth stone and I love it. I wore it the day I got married. May holds a lot of significance to me, so much has happened in May specifically so I am honored to have a ring that represents May and has so much meaning.
My grandma at one point got Guillen Barre Sydrome and almost lost her life. She was very sick, paralyzed for awhile and had to relearn all the basics but she was a strong fighter and recovered well. My grandpa was by her side constantly, our whole family was. My grandma is definitely someone I learned from and learned strength from and to never give up. When my grandpa died in December of 2006 it was heartbreaking for everyone, especially my grandma. He was her life. Shortly after he died she got diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and became very ill and went into hospice. It was sad, but it gave us the chance to say goodbye and be there for her. She died 6 months after my grandpa. I truly believe in broken heart syndrome, how could she live without the man she had been married too for over 50 years. My grandparents were two amazing people, they had amazing stories and life experiences and had been through so much and were the nicest people ever.