I'd thought I'd tell their story today on Valentine's Day.
My grandparents were married in 1928. My grandmother was 18, and this was her second marriage. Yup, 18 and second marriage. Her family life was terrible, so she married when she was 15 to escape, had a son at 16, and divorced at 17.
My grandfather was 26. He, too, had been married previously. They had had three children before their marriage ended.
When my grandfather sat eyes on my grandmother, he was determined! There was some hesitancy, however, because prejudice was high, and a Mexican man with a "gringa" girl would be highly frowned upon by both groups. It didn't stop my grandfather, however. In fact, my grandmother said that when my grandfather had finally tired of her ignoring him, he drove his Model T up onto the sidewalk in front of a store she was in, so she couldn't go anywhere but in his car when she left!
It obviously worked. My grandfather learned English and my grandmother learned Spanish during their courtship. My grandparents raised me, and I frequently heard my grandpa speaking in Spanish and my grandma answering him in English.
They were married in a civil service in 1928. That was the first time they married!
Then, they found out my grandmother's divorce from her first husband had never been finalized. So, after that was finalized, they married again. That was number two!
Unbelievable but true, they next found out that my grandfather's divorce had never been finalized. Another divorce, finalized. A third time married.
My great-grandmother (my grandfather's mom) never liked her "gringa" daughter-in-law. In fact, she had even sought a witch's help to try and get rid of her...that's another interesting set of stories. My great-grandmother kept telling them that they were never really married because they hadn't been married in a church. She had said that my grandmother was merely "a patch" attached to my grandfather.
So, marriage number 4 was in a church.
They never divorced each other but married each other 4 times!
Just in case you might wonder what happened to them, I thought I'd share that, too.
My grandfather died in December 1985. He had become very senile and had come to a point where he couldn't take care of himself. Both my grandmother and grandfather's pride prevented them from letting me take care of him, so he was in a nursing home when he passed away.
My grandmother had congestive heart disease which made her bedridden. We kept her in the living room, so she could continue to be part of the action when she wasn't hospitalized. She died 4 weeks to the day after my grandfather did.
Just about a month shy of their 58th wedding anniversary.
Happy Valentine's Day.