My grandmother's mother was affectionately referred to as Nana. Nana help raise my father and his 5 siblings. I remember her vividly from my childhood. She was a sweet woman, at the same time she also chewed tabacco and she took shit from no one. Here's a story about her that I heard on Saturday.
Nana was living in Alabama with her husband, my grandmother who was 5, and her younger sister, just as the Great Depression started to fall across this country.
One day, her husband, a taxi driver in Birmingham, left for work and never came home....he just disappeared. For the next 6 years Nana bounched around throughout the south, living with relatives, finding any work that she could and trying to keep her two young daughters alive in the dustbowl of the south.
While staying with some friends she got word that her husband was alive and that he was living in New Brusnwick, New Jersey. Her husband, my greatgrandfather, had met a Native American woman in Alabama, was cheating on Nana, and had decided to run away to New Jersey and married the woman. Word on the street was that he had two new children.
Pissed, Nana loaded up the girls on a train and headed for the Northeast.
She arrived in New Brunswick and showed up at his doorstep. She threatened him, " These girls are you children too and you are going to raise them ! And if you say anything except 'yes ma'am' then I'm heading over to the police station and turning your ass in for bigomy "
My greatgrandfather smartly responded, " Yes ma'am"
So my Nana got an apartment and job in the city. The girls moved in with their father and the man, Nana, and the Indiana woman raised all four kids.