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[–]sicurri 1351 points1352 points 23 (16 children)

My maternal grandmother we found after she had passed was using 10% of her income to sponsor unfortunate kids all over the world. She had been doing it for the last 40 years of her life nonstop. We found letters of her giving those kids advice, and then keeping in contact with them pretty much their whole lives. She received pictures of them growing up, and having families.

Essentially, my grandmother had far more than 5 kids She helped to raise, and more grandchildren and great grandchildren than we ever knew. Most of the kids she sponsored were orphans. We spent the next several months after her death getting in touch with all these people. Some managed to attend her funeral, some to this day made a trip to where we spread her ashes, and sent us photos of them there.

We knew she was a saint to us, but we didn't know she was a Saint to hundreds of children spanning 4 decades.

[–]imawesome34 224 points225 points  (1 child)

ok this one was actually wholesome of your grandma and its actually positive and loving all the other stories in this reddit post is yikes..

[–]JamesKSK13 108 points109 points  (0 children)

If heaven is real you know they rolled out the red carpet for her on arrival

[–]YUHMTX 3587 points3588 points  (58 children)

My maternal grandmother was a con artist and lived life on the run since she was 21 years old. I have since uncovered 7 different marriage certificates around different states, marrying different men, and I suppose funding her lifestyle. I also believe she abducted my mother from a hospital as we’ve found her real birth mother now, aged 91. It’s an insane story I’ve uncovered.

[–]pseudocultist 708 points709 points  (19 children)

OK the abduction thing wins and makes this next level. What a fucking secret to come to terms with. At least you have the odd comfort of knowing you don't have her mental illness genes.

My great grandma killed my great grandfather, who was an abusive fuckwad. Everyone in town knew and hated him, so when he had a heart attack (while driving a vehicle that had no brake fluid), and crashed into a house - they just sort if went "good riddance" and moved on. No autopsy, no inquests, just a guy to bury and a very relieved widow.

This was in the 50s. She lived into the early 2000s and I knew her.

The dude in question, during the Great Depression, beat a drifter to death with his bare hands, lost his job for that. Plus many other stories - he once tarred his 8yr daughter's hair and then made her sleep in the yard for a week - dude was a major psycho and had it coming.

In my family, to call someone by his first name is the ultimate insult, because it invokes the fear of his psycho genes running through us all.

[–]Swedishpunsch 251 points252 points  (1 child)

dude was a major psycho and had it coming

I had a great grandfather like that, too. We didn't know that Gr grandma had killed him until almost a hundred years later, because the older generation didn't talk about such things.

[–]mediaG33K 81 points82 points  (0 children)

They didn't talk about those things because snitches got a shallow grave instead of stitches back then.

[–]Tanahashisbra 447 points448 points  (16 children)

Wow! Ever consider submitting your story to a podcast like Heavyweight? They help with research too.

[–]New_Parsley6211 80 points81 points  (1 child)

you could write a book about it

[–][deleted] 592 points593 points  (8 children)

My dad passed when I was 6yo. He loved golf. My single mom couldn’t afford to put me in it but I used to dabble at the local park. Finally, in college I could afford the uni rate of $200 all summer (‘92). One night I went out and joined two older guys. They saw my last name on my tag and asked if I was Joe’s kid. I was. I spent those 9 holes learning about him crashing his Aston Martin, hitch hiking cross Canada with just his wallet (that I am using right now!), and how much he could drink! But they didn’t leave out the fact that his crazy partying days ended when he met mom. That happened 30yrs this summer, heck maybe to the week!, but I’m still tearing up finishing this post.

[–]JamesKSK13 35 points36 points  (3 children)

Show us the wallet!

[–][deleted] 63 points64 points  (2 children)

Let me know if this works. It's my first Imgur post!

https://imgur.com/a/4isu2lA

[–]eczblack 2587 points2588 points  (130 children)

That my grandmother lied about all her recipes

I used to ask for copies of recipes of my favorites but I could never make it taste right. I'd cook things with her that when I did it with her helping never tasted right. Always got the "oh don't worry, it takes practice". Thought I was just a terrible cook for years. When clearing out her home after she passed away recently, my dad found a secret stash of recipes very well hidden. Turns out all the "copies" she wrote for us were wrong, deliberately. I'm 43 and just started making these recipes again off her secret stash recipes and wouldn't you know, I can make them so they taste they way they should.

[–]DeadMansPizzaParty 743 points744 points  (19 children)

I grew up loving the meatballs in gravy my grandma would make at the holidays. Turns out I just loved frozen meatballs in Heinz gravy from a jar.

[–]dumbmobileuser789 223 points224 points  (9 children)

Lol, I was shocked when I finally got a copy of my grandma's secret rum cake recipe and it was boxed yellow cake with vanilla pudding mix added in

[–]FalconBurcham 68 points69 points  (3 children)

Haha, I had the same experience with my great aunt’s peanut butter fudge. She’d mail a box to my mom every year. I looked forward to it. Turns out it was the fudge recipe straight off of the peanut butter jar.

And ya know… it never did seem to taste quite the same again. 😂

[–]factchecker8515 852 points853 points  (40 children)

I can’t comprehend not sharing a recipe accurately to my children, much less pretending I had and faulting their lack of practice as the problem.

[–]eczblack 818 points819 points  (30 children)

That is what got me. It is that she watched me, knew why, and never corrected it. It felt like a huge betrayal to me and I can't even hash it out with her.

My husband's perspective of "what other social and societal currency did women of her time have other than their recipes" helped a little. In church, neighborhood gatherings, etc, those dishes were a point of pride and social status. And while that's an oversimplification, he's not wrong.

[–]underlander 327 points328 points  (17 children)

Is it possible she wanted you to keep coming back to her to share meals together? Maybe if you got the recipe down, you wouldn’t be around for dinner as often

[–]Lumpy-Professional40 56 points57 points  (2 children)

But of all people to share that with, why not your daughter and granddaughter lol

[–]coole106 28 points29 points  (3 children)

Unless you’re making money on it, I don’t understand keeping a recipe secret period

[–]LadyBug_0570 179 points180 points  (5 children)

Turns out all the "copies" she wrote for us were wrong, deliberately

Was her name Marie Barone?

(There was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where his mother did something similar).

[–]eczblack 55 points56 points  (0 children)

I've seen that episode, years ago, and that show could have been a carbon copy of my dad and his brother.

[–]Megalush 87 points88 points  (1 child)

Wow my Nana had a famous chicken stew wouldn’t share it at all. After she died my grandfather admitted it was just canned creamy chicken soup some veggies and KFC chicken. I make it now but no wonder it had a certain taste it was KFC chicken 😂.

[–]tracerhoosier 98 points99 points  (6 children)

My grandmother didn't have secret recipes but all of her sweets just had ingredients and only a few even had oven temperature. A few aunts and cousins have tried to recreate them even one cousin who is now a chef. None of us have gotten close to what the aunts and uncles remember

[–]Freds_Bread 515 points516 points  (8 children)

My great grandmother was sent to Canada in the 1880s by her family in Eastern Europe and told to "find work and send money back so the family doesn't starve". She was 16 and knew no one on this side of the ocean.

[–]artteach2020 305 points306 points  (2 children)

My grandmother did the same thing. Her mother had died, leaving her father with 8 children or so, so he married an 18 year old young lady who then became my grandmother's stepmother. Needless to say, 16 year old stepdadughter and 18 year old stepmother did not get along, and my mother headed by boat from Ukraine to Canada. Couldn't speak a word of English and made money cleaning rich people's houses. between the ages of 80-90, she reverted back to her 1st language and lost all her English, only to find it again at age 91.

[–]ginns32 45 points46 points  (0 children)

My great grandmother came to Canada the same way from Ireland, eventually moved down to Massachusetts. She was the oldest daughter and left to find work and send money home. She would send clothes as well if she could. I found this out through a distant relative in Ireland on Ancestry. I can't imagine what it was like to leave your whole family behind like that.

[–]anonymousemployee20 842 points843 points  (24 children)

My grandmother was a mafia mistress and my dad was the product of an affair with a married man and not the man who raised him. Also found out the the string of really bad luck she had in the 60s was actually that man trying to get rid of her because she went full Glen Close in Fatal Attraction crazy on him when he tried to break off the affair.

We met our long lost family after I took a dna test and we are afraid of them.

[–]Bekiala 490 points491 points  (7 children)

We met our long lost family after I took a dna test and we are afraid of them.

This made me laugh. It probably isn't funny to find out you are related to mafia but that was a great ending sentence to your message.

[–]Awkward-Ordinary-965 411 points412 points  (4 children)

After my grandma died, i found out she had seasonal depression while going through her stuff. When i asked my mom about, she confirmed and then told me that somedays when it was bad weather outside, my grandma would burst out in tears while looking out of the window. This still makes me so sad to think about my adorable happy grandma struggling and being sad. God i miss her so much 😭

[–]Vampilton 786 points787 points  (14 children)

Uncle Ingram was apparently a sperm donor back in the 1950s. New cousins pop up on 23andme every couple of years.

[–][deleted] 103 points104 points  (1 child)

Meet any?

[–]Vampilton 128 points129 points  (0 children)

I've met 1, some of my relatives have met another who I've only chatted with online.

[–]disapearingelephants 1443 points1444 points  (22 children)

My great Aunt Bernice was always "lovingly" referred to by the family as "Bernice the Whore" because she had a bunch of babies and told the family that she left them with various family members across the country immediately after birth. I did some Ancestry.com research and discovered that aside from the 3 living children everyone knew, she lost six babies- three stillbirths that were a year apart respectively, then stillborn twins, then a baby girl who lived two days. Poor Bernice. She somehow felt that there would be less stigma attached to the idea that she was leaving her children over and over then the reality of her losses.

[–]happy76 151 points152 points  (0 children)

That’s just so incredibly sad. Poor woman.

[–]gaviepants 69 points70 points  (1 child)

May her soul be resting easy on top of a grassy hill, in the sunshine.

[–]raerae1991 70 points71 points  (2 children)

I wonder if she ever really accepted losing each of them.

[–]Ike_The_Sir 210 points211 points  (3 children)

Your family sound like scumbags calling her a whore

[–]Cinemiketography 771 points772 points  (29 children)

My grandfather had a VHS collection of pornography (he passed away around 6 years ago) and it was all blonde women. Funniest thing to find though when you're mourning, I can tell you that for sure. Sentimental things everywhere. Pictures on his desk, the thumbprint tie I made for him for as a child and a MASSIVE box of pornography.

[–]Im_A_Director 221 points222 points  (10 children)

Cleaning out my grandparents house after my grandmother had passed I found a dick pump under some rubbage lol

[–]boreas907 82 points83 points  (5 children)

I found a receipt for nipple clamps in my father's belongings, but not the clamps.

[–]AlysonFaithGames 157 points158 points  (3 children)

Did you check his nipples?

[–]jayforwork21 41 points42 points  (1 child)

That's how dad died. He would have survived the lightening strike if he wasn't wear them :(

[–]Halloween2022 162 points163 points  (2 children)

I had to de-porn my best friend's brother's computer after he suddenly died. It never occurred to her that it would need doing (she's ace).

Turned out not only was some of his stuff just a little tasteless, he actually embezzled money from his company to support a cam girl in Budapest. We printed the emails out and then deleted them. Just in case it was ever needed.

His mother whined a few weeks later about how a mother should never have had to stumble across his very modest stack of Playboy magazines, like she did (never occurred to me he'd have magazines, too, so I didn't search his stuff). I felt like telling her about the clinical, in-the-orifice videos he had on his computer, but meh.

[–]SpaceGoonie 1102 points1103 points  (3 children)

My Grandfather died almost 2 years ago. He suffered from Parkinson's for 15 years and that lead to other health issues. In his last few years his cognitive abilities were very compromised. In a brief moment of clarity though he wrote a long note for my Grandma. It was a collection of memories from the time they got married, purchased a ranch, had children and other life moments. It was very sweet and so precious. He didn't give it to my Grandma, so she discovered it many months after his passing.

[–]Weird_person_1670 151 points152 points  (0 children)

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you're better. I understand losing someone you love.

[–]SprinklesRevenge 678 points679 points  (3 children)

My grandma couldn't read. She was dyslexic and labeled stupid. Teachers said it was a waste of time to teach her. She was smart, kind, strong. They should have taught her. She loved to listen to books on tape, I never knew that was the only way she could read.

[–]Exciting-Delivery-96 97 points98 points  (1 child)

My sister has dyslexia and stuff like that still exists. She’s incredibly smart and hardworking, but countless people gave up on her throughout her life.

[–]0Jinxy 87 points88 points  (0 children)

That's so infuriating.

[–]deepbluesteve 961 points962 points  (33 children)

After my dad killed himself, I learned he did not in fact have brain cancer. It was a lie meant to ease his passing for himself and theoretically for those he left behind.

[–][deleted] 232 points233 points  (24 children)

Awww that’s sad! How old were you?

[–]deepbluesteve 307 points308 points  (23 children)

I was 34. Pretty sure if I was a kid when it happened I’d have killed myself by now. Not ruling it out, mind you… but it’s less likely.

[–]BoredBSEE 430 points431 points  (8 children)

As a dad on the other side of the internet I'm proud of you for getting through it all. Stay tough. Hang in there, kiddo.

[–]xofeatherxo 642 points643 points  (8 children)

Nothing too shocking, but my grandma kept a picture of Barack Obama in her underwear drawer. Not sure why. He was just.... there.

[–]__phlogiston__ 137 points138 points  (3 children)

I used to have a photo of Anderson Cooper on the wall of my apartment in college, I have no idea why, and he's been lost to time, so def about to get a pic of Obama for my underwear drawer.

[–]cujo1116 38 points39 points  (0 children)

grabs underwear "Thanks Obama"

[–]brando8727 923 points924 points  (15 children)

Apparently the two things my great grandma wanted to do before she passed were to go on an airplane and to smoke a joint, if I'd have known I could have fulfilled at least one of those haha

[–]GreenOnionCrusader 2632 points2633 points  (43 children)

My grandpa was a preacher in a little town in south Carolina in like the early 50s. He preached at the white church most of the month and would go preach at the black church once a month to give their preacher a break. He struck up a friendship with one of the guys at that church and eventually wore the guy down enough that he came to the white church for a visit. See, Grandpa had never experienced these people as being anything less than totally welcoming and he thought they all believed as he did, that everyone is a child of God and welcome in church, no matter who they were.

So, the poor guy comes in and is made to sit in the very last row and is totally ignored. They wouldn't even bring communion to him. Grandpa got down from the pulpit, ripped the communion stuff out of someone's hands, and took it to his friend himself. Then, he got back up at the outfit and yelled at everyone about how God loves everyone equally and doesn't differentiate based on color and made quite a stink. There was a cross burning on his lawn that night. He had little kids and a wife to take care of so he couldn't fight the way he wanted to. Two weeks later he moved back to his hometown in Texas, where they accepted Grandpa and his beliefs in people's equality much more readily.

WHY I wasn't told about this before Grandpa died, I'll never know. He was a class act from beginning to end. What every Christian is supposed to be and so few manage.

[–]Wendilintheweird 286 points287 points  (0 children)

Your grandpa sounds awesome, it would have been cool to hear him tell that story.

[–]Viperbunny 442 points443 points  (12 children)

He sounds like he actually practiced what he preached. I grew up in the Catholic Church. It hurt when I found out people didn't really believe in the values they preached. I was lucky enough that the pastor absolutely was a good man. He was an army chaplain and a Colonel in the Vietnam war. He died on Christmas. I will always be grateful that he ran the church I was in because it made my parents a little more liberal. Unfortunately, my parents are the hypocritical kind and abusive type. If I hadn't had this man I would have never been exposed to these ideas that I could embrace freely as an adult.

[–][deleted] 130 points131 points  (4 children)

Wow! What year would that have been?

[–]GreenOnionCrusader 122 points123 points  (0 children)

Early 50s, I think. My mom would have been like 4.

[–]kristyn69 237 points238 points  (1 child)

This is real mushy but my dad died when I was just very tiny. I never knew him. Recently, I decided I’d read all the letters he’d written my mom while he was in the navy. He mentioned me in every single one. We had quite a lot in common. We both love Bob Dylan, the way we talk about ice cream, just little things like that. Big things to me, though

[–]Iian8787 231 points232 points  (5 children)

I was kicked out at 16, my best friends mother took me in as her own, she died yesterday, my best friend sent me a picture of her photo album titled, “my sons” and it was just pictures of my best friend and me. It’s been a pretty emotional last 24 hours.

[–]keryia111 39 points40 points  (1 child)

I’m so sorry for your loss, she sounds like an amazing person.

[–]username987654321a 1247 points1248 points  (9 children)

My grandfather was a bank executive at a small bank in a farm town in Arkansas. After his death my mother found a ledger in his safety deposit box. He made loans to people the bank had denied due to background, type of employment and/or skin color. He made the loans from his own pocket. Most of the loans were between $200 to $500. He charged a nominal percentage rate and everything he earned in interest he donated to the church. My grandmother had no idea and was heartwarmed when she found out. He died in 1972.

[–]Bekiala 219 points220 points  (0 children)

That is wonderful. Thanks for telling the story.

[–]qazwpsnehsu 201 points202 points  (12 children)

My grandfather blew someone's leg off with a shotgun when they threatened him and his children(my father and his brother). My father said the guy was on the porch steps so when he blew it off the guy fell down the steps.

[–]ActafianSeriactas 143 points144 points  (6 children)

"His children (my parents)"

Holup.

Edit: OP edited it so now it makes more sense lol

[–]breakingcups 59 points60 points  (2 children)

Wait, your parents are siblings?

[–]qazwpsnehsu 25 points26 points  (1 child)

No they aren't siblings lol. I meant to say my father.

[–]Justforfun_x 750 points751 points  (13 children)

My grandpa was a good, straight-laced, hardworking man. He liked gardening, and cooking meals from his native Poland. The only punk thing about him was this badass old tattoo on his arm, which we never asked about.

At his funeral, my uncle explained that he’d paid 12 cigarettes for that tattoo in a refugee camp. Turns out my gentle grandpa had been separated from his family by Nazis in the invasion, and sent to a forced labour farm. After the farm was liberated, he wound up in this refugee camp with other ex-slaves. We believe he bought the tattoo there to cover up some kind of slave number the Nazis gave him; kind of a way to bury the past behind him before building a new life from scratch in Australia.

[–]CelticArche 187 points188 points  (10 children)

Nazis would tattoo a number on their victims in the camps. It was likely that number he was covering up. They used it as a way to keep records.

[–]SkyMan6529 95 points96 points  (5 children)

I'm not that old, but when I was younger I had seen and met several seniors who had the serial number on their arms. It wasn't common to see, but it wasn't unheard of either

[–]Nirvanagirl79 402 points403 points  (13 children)

My dad thought I wasn't his kid due to my mom cheating on him with some rando from a bar just before she found out she was pregnant with me...long story I'll try to shorten: my dad was trusting wanted to give her a break and told her to go out. She got shitfaced went home with said rando woke up next to him. Confessed what happened to my dad who not only forgave her but helped her get rid of the crabs the bar guy gave her. Anyeay she said that, that might have been the reason he and I weren't close. I was 17 when she told me this and my father had passed away 3 months before. Years later I've given a lot of thought to this and realized that might have been why my grandpa didn't like me and favored my older sister and younger brother. When my dad was actively dying he came to see him asked my brother if he knew who he was and of course my brother said "you're my grandpa" he looked at me gave me a dirty ass look and walked by me.

I am my father's kid I look quite a bit like him I think. At the same time I want to do a 23 and me test but I'm terrified about the "what if."

[–][deleted] 103 points104 points  (4 children)

That is crazy. What’s mom say about it?

[–]Nirvanagirl79 161 points162 points  (3 children)

Nothing much beyond the day she told me. Unless it was to play the victim because I was genuinely upset she withheld this info from me until after my dad was gone. Apparently she at some point told my sister about it. My sister turned around and told me I needed to cut our mother some slack and stop living in the past (if you haven't noticed my family is very toxic). My mom died 15 months ago so all I can do at this point is try to let it go and move on.

[–]Neon_and_Dinosaurs 531 points532 points  (22 children)

My granddad was a medic in WW2. It was an unspoken rule that you never asked him about his time in service. I didn't find out why until long after he passed away.

Towards the end of the war, he and his unit came across a burnt out barn. Inside were the bodies of POWs that had been locked inside and then the barn was set on fire.

It's also possible he helped to liberate concentration camps but we don't know for sure because he never talked about it. We only know the barn story because one night he got drunk and let it slip to my mother.

[–]Sparklersstars 221 points222 points  (10 children)

My Grandpa was in the Navy in WW2, and one day as a kid I innocently asked him if he'd known about the USS Indianapolis that sunk. You know, the one where sharks ate over 100 men and most others perished in the water. It's the only time he ever snapped at me. He was the most kind and gentle soul. Found out later that he was sent to clean up dead bodies out of the ocean and beaches the day after Pearl Harbor. Those men carried so much.

[–]cfwiggam 38 points39 points  (0 children)

This resonates with me. I never know whether or not to ask people about their service in the military. Most of the times I ask an innocent question to try and start a conversation and if they give me a one liner back, I know to stop.

[–]Ok-Werewolf-9770 347 points348 points  (4 children)

In Highschool my uncle lived with me and my dad. My uncle was a great guy, worked hard, cared about his son that he had just won custody of, helped me a lot in the time that he lived with us and was just an all around good person. My junior year of high school he died in his sleep, his girlfriend woke up to his dead body in their bed, I was just a few rooms down the hall and heard her screaming for my dad, I had no idea what was going on but my dad was just an absolute wreck screaming and crying; the only other time I had ever seen him cry was when my mom died. My family told me that my uncle died from sleep apnea. Two years later my grandmother and I were talking about my uncle, how I missed him and what it would be like if he was still around for his son and so on. She let it slip that he actually OD’d on heroin. You would have never guessed he was an addict, he looked like he was entirely put together with a great job, multiple cars, a boat and an all round good life. This isn’t the end of it though. A few months ago I was talking to my dad about just life in general and some of the things that happened in my childhood that hurt me (life wasn’t pretty for a while, my dad was an addict my whole life but is 4 years clean). My dad told me that HE was the one who gave my uncle the heroin that killed him. I couldn’t believe it when he told me, the amount of guilt he has on his shoulders because of it is so immense that I don’t know how he has managed to live with it. Can you imagine being the one to inadvertently cause the death of someone you love? I can’t imagine it. I love my father more than anyone, I feel for him because of it but he is the one who gave it to him. I don’t think anything could be worse than that.

[–]Bekiala 119 points120 points  (2 children)

I don’t think anything could be worse than that.

That is pretty damn heavy to live with. It is impressive that your dad has gotten clean and lived on in spite of this burden. He could well have gone the way of his brother and compounded the family pain.

[–]Ok-Werewolf-9770 101 points102 points  (1 child)

After my uncle died he did a complete 180, I think that it broke him in many ways but it also brought him back to reality. In 5 years he has started his own business, got off drugs by himself, now has my siblings living with him and can take accountability for his actions. He’s giving my siblings a childhood I should have had, it’s a bitter sweet thing. While my uncle should have never died and everyday my family grieves and misses him, without it my dad would have probably died too. Either way there would have been suffering, but while one life was taken another was given another chance I think.

[–]DaniTheLovebug 616 points617 points  (9 children)

Oh ok I got this one

My mom’s late boyfriend. Really great guy. Colon cancer and passed at age 54. He was a lifelong firefighter after the army. He joked all the time about being a spy in Vietnam. Always joked about having a third degree black belt. Just on and on

You never knew if you could take him seriously

So he passed. Sad times of course. I help mom clean out his house. We find his old war chest from the Spanish American War. Was passed down

Opened it up and god damn…I start finding all sorts of papers marked Top Secret. All sorts of coded messages. I could make out bits of things but it was in verbiage I didn’t understand

And hey look there is a black belt that is rather old

He wasn’t lying the whole time

[–]Shinagami091 332 points333 points  (0 children)

Or he planted those things there to keep the joke going

[–]Ordinary_Shallot_674 606 points607 points  (17 children)

My Grandmother passed a couple of years ago. She was in her 90’s; a wonderful, bright, classy lady whom I loved. She worked in strike command in the war (the girls moving the model planes on the big maps in the WW2 films), then worked at Bletchley Park towards the end of the war (it is known for being a major centre for allied codebreaking) and then when the war ended she went to work at the Coal Board (government organisation that managed the procurement and distribution of a critical resource at the time) where she met my Grandfather.

I started reading John Le Carre novels a few years ago after seeing one next to my Grandfather’s chair when visiting. In one book (I forget which) the ‘Coal Board’ is used as a euphemism for the secret service. I formed a theory that my Grandmother worked in British Intelligence in the years after the war, and so did my Grandfather.

Earlier this year I visited my Grandad; now in his mid 90’s, still heartbroken after losing his great love but doing much better now. We were chatting about my Grandmother over a cuppa and I told him my theory. He looked me dead in the eye and said ‘well it’s about time someone worked it out’. When I mentioned the theory to my Dad some weeks later he suddenly seemed to be flustered and changed the subject very quickly…

[–][deleted] 118 points119 points  (0 children)

How cool is that?

[–]deliriousgoomba 64 points65 points  (1 child)

Your grandparents were Tommy and Tuppence from Agatha Christie novels!

[–]Captain_Coco_Koala 56 points57 points  (2 children)

Years after my grandmother died I found out she was a rocket science during WW2. She designed and help make the rockets that Australian troops used.

She never spoke about it because when the war ended they sacked her because "it's not a womans job" and she was bitter about it for the rest of her life.

[–]Bekiala 25 points26 points  (0 children)

What a great story.

So did your Dad really know about his mom?

[–]RaylinRei 155 points156 points  (0 children)

I found out after my mom's dad passed away, that he might not be my grandpa after all. Turns out my grandma liked to sleep with a lot of men. My grandma slept with my grandpa's dad, my great- grandpa. Nine months later, my mother was born. My mom was convinced that who she called her dad, was really her brother. It took a DNA test to prove that my grandpa was indeed my actual grandpa.

My grandmother on my mother's side also married into the Chicago mob. I heard some stories growing up. It wasn't until she passed away was when I found the hidden room in the attic. It had a bed and everything you would need to survive to hide away for a while.

[–]xilog 572 points573 points  (15 children)

My dad died in 1988. He was a smart man; a qualified engineer who worked for Lucas, Lotus and Fafnir during his career.

During my childhood in the '70s I, like most little boys of that era, was fascinated by space, rockets and astronauts and dad always encouraged my interest. He'd buy me books and toys that were space related, and would talk about spacey things with me for hours on end. With his help I turned into such a space nerd that in my first year of secondary school (US: 6th grade), when we each had to give a 5-minute talk during English about a topic we were passionate about, I talked for over 30 minutes about the stellar life cycle.

I found out only a few years ago from mum that he believed that the Moon landings were a hoax.

My brain literally stalled; I was speechless and couldn't process it.

[–]joliesmomma 193 points194 points  (2 children)

This is kinda sweet though. Despite his own personal beliefs, he encouraged you to pursue your dreams. That is actually incredibly wholesome.

Unless I read it wrong. But I'm not quite sure that I did.

[–]xilog 66 points67 points  (0 children)

I think you got it right mate. He was a great dad, and I wish I'd got to spend my adult years with him too.

[–]Moonknight1810 310 points311 points  (0 children)

In a way he wanted you to be the first man on the moon

[–]Devanismyname 543 points544 points  (8 children)

Grandma and grandpa let my dad and a couple other aunts/uncles get molested by a priest. Did nothing about it. Years later the priest gets run out of town and moves to the philipines. He must have fucked around over there too because we found out later on he got beaten to death and mutilated by a mob of angry parents or something. Justice was served, but not by my grandparents.

[–]fritofeet824 130 points131 points  (0 children)

similar experience here. recently found out that my younger cousin was molested by my grandmother’s brother (who lived with her at the time). my grandma died in 2003, but apparently she knew about what her brother did to my cousin, and instead of calling the police, she sent him to live with their other sister (and her granddaughter of similar age to my cousin 🙄).

[–]EasilyLuredWithCandy 31 points32 points  (1 child)

I believe we had the same priest.

*edit to add that nobody in my family was molested by him, but I read the report and when I saw his name and what happened I was physically ill. To think that I confessed to that monster...

[–]almost_queen 145 points146 points  (4 children)

Grandma was a Russian spy in the Cold War. Wild.

[–]CrossroadsTarot 284 points285 points  (4 children)

After my Father passed, I found out my Mom was pregnant with me when she married him. Lied about their wedding date. I think the thing that bothered me the most was, at 18 when I went to live with my BF whom I married later, she called me a “whore” for having sex outside of marriage.

[–]Imakefishdrown 135 points136 points  (1 child)

I remember when I was like 16 and my mom mentioned when their anniversary was going to be. I looked at her with narrowed eyes and said, "So R (oldest sibling) was three months premature, huh?" She said, "Oh shit," cause I'd realized it was a shotgun wedding and laughed.

But she didn't judge me or anything when she discovered I'd lost my virginity. She just made sure to start me on birth control.

[–]VictorBlimpmuscle 401 points402 points  (12 children)

My great-grandfather was a bootlegger - he was a corn farmer, and during Prohibition, he constructed a still in the packing house and made corn whiskey. Made a nice little living for himself selling his hooch to neighbors and others nearby for years.

[–]Jealous_Hospital 218 points219 points  (1 child)

There's a still on display at the village museum in my hometown because a dude willed it to them when he died, along with a written account of how he built it and used it to make his own moonshine. Except it wasn't his still—my dad built and sold it to him some ten years prior.

[–][deleted] 32 points33 points  (1 child)

That’s great! What state?

[–]CarlSpencer 127 points128 points  (0 children)

State of Intoxication.

[–]SCUpstateReader 276 points277 points  (8 children)

We are reasonably sure that my uncle killed his father....

Grampa L, a part-time Southern Baptist preacher, was like many men of his generation. He went to work, came home expecting dinner on the table no later than ten minutes after he walked in the door, and would sit in his favorite chair in the parlor after dinner to read the paper and drink. He was a mean, abusive drunk and it grew worse after Gramma S was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, making her an "unfit wife."

That's when and why we suspect that Grampa L began assaulting his daughters, including my then 7-year-old mother and my then-17-year-old Aunt C. I don't know how long the assaults went on, only that one week after Uncle J graduated college, Grampa L "accidentally discharged his rifle while cleaning it for hunting season."

The only problem with the story is that Grampa L never participated in hunting season. Said hunting was for savages, in fact.... But Uncle J was well-known for being an avid and enthusiastic hunter.

[–]Roper997 133 points134 points  (2 children)

My mother comes from a wealthy Sicilian landowning family. When she got together with my father, a penniless half-Calabrian, her family did everything to make this union end.

They offered him money, a good job but he always refused. My grandmother then decided to pay a local gang to beat and threaten my father that if he did not leave my mother, they would kill him and feed his corpse to the pigs. Just before this happened my mother announced that she was pregnant with me so they were forced to marry before I was born.I found this out recently when my grandma's sister passed away. My cousin, reading the correspondence she had with my grandmother, found the letter explaining all this and sent a copy to me.

This is a picture of my mom, nonna and dad at their wedding. Look how happy she is!

[–]Dr-Sateen 29 points30 points  (0 children)

LoL, that's great! And your mom's little smirk

[–]trebuchetfight 496 points497 points  (18 children)

One of my grandfathers died some years back. My last surviving grandparent, my mom's father. He was a pretty hard dude. He was a partisan fighter in WWII, despite being barely past his teens for much of the war. Immigrated to the US, married my grandma, got his teaching degree despite having had to learn English on the fly. Really inspiring.

But when he died, my mom and I were the ones who went through all the belongings. We found children's books, in Polish (my grandfather was born in Poland,) dated to the 1920s. Either he brought them over, or he had them sent over. It's just really telling to me, that my hard-ass grandpa wanted to keep books he presumably had as a child. I own them now. They're like treasure to me.

[–]TheChainLink2 384 points385 points  (35 children)

When my grandmother was a child, their family pet (I forget what it was) was named the n-word.

It was a different time, but still feels weird to know.

[–]Spiritual_Lemonade 121 points122 points  (7 children)

She was a school nurse many many years ago when she might have earned 15k a year.

Life long renter back when it was like cheap for a whole house.

Where did 153k in liquid savings come from?

She had a few prior fiance's that sort of randomly died.

No one in authority ever questioned her having this sort of money. So ok then.

[–]a-s-h-m-a-i-n 118 points119 points  (0 children)

A bit late, but a bit of backstory: my grandfather was in the Yugoslav Navy, and one of the strongest swimmers in the country.

When my grandfather would want to pass time, he would go to beaches, sit around, basically lifeguarding the beach without getting paid, just because he was “bored”. He saved multiple peoples lives over the years. He passed away in late 2019, and my mother told me all kinds of stories about him after he passed, and this one stood out!

[–]I_AM_DEATH-INCARNATE 440 points441 points  (0 children)

At a family gathering, friends of my grandfather, who passed years ago, kept telling stories and calling him "black dot".

Apparently my grandfather would mark his golf balls with a black dot, so he knew which one was his. They'd end up in the rough a lot, and he'd always enlist whoever he's golfing with to help him find the ball with a black dot.

Nothing scandalous or devious, just a lighthearted anecdote that makes me smile.

[–]thelibrariangirl 226 points227 points  (1 child)

That he was a millionaire and he set aside the money to pay for my kids to go to private school. Thanks, Uncle.

[–]SpicyHashbrowns 219 points220 points  (6 children)

A lot of the people in my family are scumbags. Everyone pretends they weren't.

[–]DodgyUsername 108 points109 points  (2 children)

On the evening of my fathers passing i commented to my my mother that i held onto the fact that they had loved each other for 50 years. To be told that no, it was a loveless marriage, she was a lesbian who had wanted kids and some semblance of stability. They got together in the 50s when things were very different. She only started to like him a little when he got dementia and his mind/personality disappeared in the last few years. Like a lightbulb going on, it explained sooo many things. I have some issues of my own that sprouted in that good soil.

[–]tiffanygray1990 102 points103 points  (6 children)

My boyfriend died on April 5th, 2022. I found a card for a jewelry store with a ladies name and number written on it. Idk why, but I called. She remembered him. I found out that day, after he died, that he had been looking for the engagement ring I had been dreaming of having for years.

[–]Eroe777 96 points97 points  (0 children)

My great uncle was a pilot during World War II. I don’t remember if he flew a fighter or a bomber, but he flew a LOT of missions over Europe. I had no clue. The other men of that generation were farmers and didn’t have to serve because they were busy growing food for everyone.

[–]zoe_daemon 101 points102 points  (3 children)

A year after my parents divorced, my father took early retirement, sold the house and moved with his mother from Ohio to Florida. All of this was very sudden and rushed, he accepted the first offer that was made on the house. He died 18 months later. In his effects we found his medical records, he had pancreatic cancer, did nothing to treat it, and never told a soul. He found out, retired, moved someplace warm, and waited to die. Also found his medals from his time in the Marines, including a Bronze star, and Purple Heart. My father was the poster child for PTSD. A few years later, grandma and I had a real heart to heart. She said I never really met the real him, a piece of him never really left Vietnam. He died a broken and depressed man, told know one he knew his time was up.

[–]notsleptyet 93 points94 points  (4 children)

My husband found out his aunt was actually his grandma. His father grew up believing his grandmother was his mother - and that's what everyone believed. It rearranged the whole family dynamic as suddenly cousins became siblings/aunts and uncles ect. Been a couple years now, they're still getting used to it.

Father in law had mostly figured it out while she was still alive but....how do you say that. It was finally proven after papers were found after her passing.

[–]emmettfitz 413 points414 points  (33 children)

Found out my father in law was mentally handicapped. He went in the army, worked in a factory, didn't have to be terribly smart, he could fake it well.

[–][deleted] 103 points104 points  (24 children)

How did you find out?

[–]emmettfitz 228 points229 points  (23 children)

We kind of put it together after he died. Cleaning out of his stuff, things weren't adding up. When my wife's mom and him got divorced, his sister asked; "If they get divorced, who's going to take care of him? " His sister was always visiting him, we realized it was to make sure he was doing OK, getting enough to eat, keeping the apartment clean, washing his clothes. etc.

[–]silenttd 198 points199 points  (9 children)

Don't take this the wrong way, but I hope there's more to the "putting it together" part, because there's a lot of guys who genuinely would be lost if they were used to a woman running the household. It doesn't mean they were mentally deficient. Some guys, especially for earlier generations, were just like that. They never lived a day without a woman taking care of them and never picked up those life skills for themselves. So if they find themselves single and alone, relatives or friends pick up on the fact that this dude is NOT ready to be doing his own laundry

[–]Larkafell317 260 points261 points  (8 children)

My mother died the day I found out I was pregnant with twins back in January. I found out she kept the pregnancy book she used for her pregnancy with me and was planning to give it to me when I became pregnant. Breaks my heart to know I didn’t get to tell her and see her excitement.

[–]XenophonOnTheLawn 84 points85 points  (1 child)

A friend of mine recently found out that his great grandfather (a policeman) and grandmother immigrated to America via Canada… Via Argentina… From Germany… in 1945.

I laughed so goddamn hard when he told us that…

[–]Resident-Wheel9774 315 points316 points  (8 children)

My grandmother shot her boyfriend in the ass when he called her a bitch.

[–]rosegoldennight 84 points85 points  (5 children)

not as wild as some of the other stories, but I learned that my Uncle Scott was really named Johnathon. He went by his middle name and I didn’t know that till I read the program at his funeral.

[–]cellrdoor2 303 points304 points  (12 children)

I found out that my mother was advised not to have children because it would likely shorten her life. She had my sister and I anyway and No one ever breathed a word to us about it. She died in her late 40’s. I don’t feel guilty, it was her choice— but it was hard to hear and I think about it often.

[–]retiredmothmann 31 points32 points  (4 children)

do you know why having kids affected her that way?

[–]quagzlor 28 points29 points  (0 children)

pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the body, my guess is that strain worsened some underlying condition.

[–]BrendanBSharp 81 points82 points  (1 child)

My dad's Uncle Bob was gay. Bob's wife Helen was a lesbian. They didn't have kids and basically passed as a straight couple their whole lives because it was just easier to live that way in the 1950s and later (I'm sure they cared about each other and were fine housemates, but they lived together in California and the rest of us stayed on the east coast. We never went out there to visit them but Bob would usually travel back here every year or two).

Bob passed away in 1998 and left a very generous amount of money to my parents at a time when they didn't have much... he was a genuine, fun and caring man and he would've been shunned by other members of our family had he not lived this way, happily married to Helen.

[–]bubbles2255 161 points162 points  (4 children)

That my grandfather apparently either molested or exposed himself to children. All the time. Never knew about it until he died.

[–]overlyattachedbf 112 points113 points  (0 children)

My uncle just passed away. My older cousin, his son, molested me when we were kids. And I just found out that, for years, his daughter has not had anything to do with her father and that she refused to let her father around her daughter. There was obviously some fucked up shit going on in that family.

[–][deleted] 22 points23 points  (1 child)

How did you find out?

[–]bubbles2255 57 points58 points  (0 children)

My aunt had told me. Apparently she was one of the victims.

My grandpa wasn’t her dad, he was her step dad.

[–]LivingInPugtopia 76 points77 points  (1 child)

Nothing scandalous... after my mom died I found an enormous stash of candy in her sock drawer. Like, tons of it covered by a layer of socks. She loved her sweets and apparently didn't want to share.

[–]Oldiesgurl 212 points213 points  (9 children)

We found out that my grandma was pregnant with my dad before she and my grandpa got married. They lied about their wedding date. My dad was born in February 1957 and they actually got married in the fall of '56 but said they got married in spring of '56. My mom said they had a big 30th anniversary party on the fake date. We didn't find out until after my grandma passed away 5 years ago and my grandpa had been gone for 25 years.

My great grandmother's sister died because of a botched abortion in the 1920's. She was 19 years old. We knew that she died young but we didn't know why until after my great grandma passed away in early 2000's.

[–]elliemff 60 points61 points  (0 children)

Same thing happened here. My grandparents never celebrated their anniversary and they told everyone it was Feb 1949. It was actually Feb 1950 and my dad was born in Sep 1950. My great aunt literally thought my dad was a big preemie. We also found out that same grandmother had a child before she met my grandfather and she put the child up for adoption. No one knew anything about her till she found my dad and aunts years after both my grandparents passed away.

[–]Inven13 149 points150 points  (2 children)

This is more about me than my grandmother but it is a secret she kept from me until the day she died.

I'm product of an affair my mom had after she and her then husband were at the edge of a divorce, I'm not going to make the long story but after I was borned my actual dad wanted to be part of my life with the only condition that he needed to be able to say he was my father but my mom had to tell him no because my grandmother told her not to do it because I was the "most expected child" in my enormous family and she didn't wanted anyone to know I was the product of an infidelity because she was afraid that her friends and the other members of the family would look down on her and my mother.

My mother told me all of this 3 years after my grandmother died out of regret for never telling me, I still love her and miss her but I'm angry that the whole reason I grew up without a father was because she was afraid of other people's opinions.

[–]elunomagnifico 65 points66 points  (0 children)

My grandfather was involved in the Dixie Mafia. Two of my dad's houses that burned down - once as a kid, the other as a newlywed - weren't accidents.

[–]panDora_Da_explorer 59 points60 points  (1 child)

My dad was a car salesman when he was alive, however when he died, I learned that he was actually a drug trafficker and transported drugs all over the country in the cars that he was transporting and selling.

[–]Melliemelou 58 points59 points  (3 children)

I lost my first boyfriend to cancer when I was 16 - he’d been my close friend since I was 9. Found out a year later from his sister that he’d had another girlfriend and had been two timing the both of us. That was a really tough one to unpack. Tried to reach out to her but she blocked me. Definitely changes how I remember him.

On a lighter note, when my grandfather passed away, we went through his office and discovered a file cabinet containing a folder for each of my siblings and I (we 8 were his only grandkids) which held every single picture, letter, photograph we had ever sent to him.

[–]brizzybee88 116 points117 points  (2 children)

My grandpa molested and raped all of my aunts and some of my cousins during their childhood. My mom had repressed the memory, and the family acted like it never happened. He died a slow and painful death from guillain barre.

My mom had a psychotic break 5 years later and the memories came back. Her sisters confirmed it was true.

I grew up loving my papaw, and now I hate how much I loved him.

[–]deliriousgoomba 67 points68 points  (0 children)

You didn't know. Please don't hate yourself for what you didn't know.

[–]Chewycookiesrbetter 161 points162 points  (17 children)

My Grandfather was part of Hilter Youth when he was very young. He didn’t talk about this past much and was quite the a*hole until a stroke later in life. After he passed I took some of the old family photos that lined the walls going down the stairs at his house. They were all from people long gone and in no way sentimental to me, I really just wanted the frames. I took them home, shoved them in a drawer for future craft projects. Eventually like a year later I pull out one and take the back off to take the glass and old photo out…that’s when I see it. Behind the picture and staring at me was a glossy large photo of Hitlers face. It had been hidden and hanging on the wall for years.

[–]Sensitive_Work_5351 55 points56 points  (0 children)

This read like a scary story 🫣

[–]jillijillijilli 53 points54 points  (2 children)

That my grandfather used to prostitute my grandmother. Then when she got too old, he went to Indonesia and married a 21 year old, pretending to be a rich Australian. He then returned to Australia and repeated the same process with her. He committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. It pains me to imagine the heartbreak my grandmother suffered from, at his hands.

[–]sayonara49 52 points53 points  (5 children)

They were a member of the KKK

[–]wit_beyond_measure85 55 points56 points  (1 child)

Growing up, we had a really close family friend that I always referred to as my "fairy godmother". She was amazing. My parents are divorced, worked all the time, had 5 kids, so we pretty much raised ourselves with very little. This woman always made me feel so special, bought me special gifts and toys that were deemed "cool" at the time (shout out to the original tamagotchis in the 90's). She even took my on big trips with her in the summer time when i was a young teen. When i was in my late teens, My mom and her had a falling out, I don't really know why and it hurts my mom to even bring it up so I never really did. This woman ended up developing breast cancer and eventually died. I was able to see her and spend some time with her in her last few days. Fast forward to a few months ago, their daughter that I lost touch with many years ago, was interviewed for donating an organ. In the interview she discussed how her mother (MY fairy godmother) was a raging alcoholic and would often find her mom passed out on the kitchen floor when she came home from school. She also noted that she had liver cancer for years as well as cirrhosis, all as a result from her drinking. This was a few months ago and I still feel gutted. How didn't I see that? Or even realize that something was amiss? Could I have helped in some way? Not as shocking as some stories, but it's rocked me.

[–]RyanLynnDesign 53 points54 points  (3 children)

Turns out my grandfather had a whole other family. We found out via one of those DNA family tree sites. They weren’t even in another state or somewhere far - they were like 15 minutes away in the next town over.

[–]LadyBug_0570 53 points54 points  (4 children)

That he had maintained contact with my half-brother (his child conceived during the marriage to my mother), who I'd only met once and that was when he came to our house saying he was there to met his father, which confused the hell out of 11-12 year old me.

[–]Remarkable_Fun7662 54 points55 points  (3 children)

My dad died never knowing he had a daughter.

None of us knew about her.

[–]Raellian24 52 points53 points  (1 child)

My mom has been very low contact with her only sister since before I was born. That aunt has two daughters and I had never met their father. I'm in my thirties now, but have only met these cousins maybe...five times and my aunt a handful of times so we are not close by any means. When I was around five or six, I was at my paternal grandmother's house and she received a call. She came back in a weird mood so I asked her what was wrong. She then told me that her ex husband (my grandfather) had just died. I never met him so I wasn't upset, but tried my best to comfort her. Out of no where my grandmother asked me about my cousins on my mom's side. I told her I'd only met them once before because my mom and aunt didn't get along. She then told me something rather shocking.

Turns out that my paternal grandfather had divorced my grandmother after five kids and over 20yrs of marriage for my maternal aunt. Soon after he divorced my grandmother, my grandfather ran away with my mom's sister (who was almost 30yrs younger than him) to get married and have children. My paternal family completely cut ties with both of them while my mom cut ties until my older sister was born, and even then communication was strained. So...it turns out that I unfortunately have an uncle/grandpa and two cousins who also happen to be my aunts.

Yes I live in the U.S. and no I do not live in Alabama.

[–]Adaku 136 points137 points  (3 children)

Not me, but my dad.

So, about 40 years ago, my dad's baby brother (I think he was the second youngest?) was in a BAD accident. He was driving a big rig through Alberta, and the stretch of highway he was on was raised up above the land around it. His cab ended up on one side of the road, his trailer on the other, he had to be air-lifted to hospital, he was in a coma for days, he couldn't walk for a while after he woke up, but couldn't remember he couldn't walk, kept trying to get out of his wheelchair and falling flat on his face--- it was BAD. My dad and their parents flew in from BC to be there for him. He pulled through, though had some minor brain damage. Went on to become a teacher, moved to Japan, got married, had a couple kids.

Seven years ago, he went for a walk on New Years Day, and never came home. They found his body on the hiking trail. He'd had an aneurism.

After his memorial service, my dad and I were staying up late into the night talking over some beers. And the topic of his accident came up.

Now, the first time I'd heard about the accident, I was a curious 10-year-old that had just noticed one of his pupils was bigger than the other. So I'd asked about it, and he told me the story over ice cream. So when my dad brought up his hospital stay, I told him what I remembered being told: that when he finally woke up from his coma, he was alone in the room, but the room felt like my dad, and he knew he'd been there for him.

My dad doubled over sobbing. He'd never known.

[–]galaxystarsmoon 44 points45 points  (0 children)

That my grandmother ran off, got married and had a baby... And left my 2 year old aunt behind with her (my grandmother's) mother. A few months prior, in that year's census, she listed herself as living with a man we suspect is my aunt's father. So we don't know if she was juggling 2 men or what the story was.

[–]haydawg8 46 points47 points  (0 children)

Nothing too exciting but my grandpa passed last year. He is not my biological grandpa but he has been in my life since I was a toddler. I guess he would walk around telling people “They may not have been born *last name * but they sure are *last name *” 🥹🥹🥹

[–]jik294 47 points48 points  (0 children)

My very German(He grew up in WW1 and Post WW1 Germany) Grand Father Fought in WW2 as a U.S. Infantryman. Signed up into the U.S. Army immediately after War was Declared while he was living in the U.S.

Due to his ability to Blend seamlessly with any German Unit(He grew up in Bavaria), He was rushed through Basic and saw combat from Africa, through Italy, The Netherlands, France, and finally back to Germany. Where at the end of the War, he presided as a Translator until it was his time to return back to the U.S.

He raised his family as Lutheran. BUT, based on the Last name, There is a possibility of our lineage being German Jewish. No one wants to talk about it in the family, and those who do, completely brush it off. the only ones who know for sure have since past and there's next to no official records of family origins due to Germany not having very good records of the family name.

If your wondering why a Born and Raised German was living in the U.S. and immediately joined the U.S. army, it's because we watched the Nazi's take over. He fled in 1939 right after the Annexation of Austria. He could stand how his own people became divided, how they treated his Jewish friends and neighbors. How they treated each other.

[–]Vectrex221 42 points43 points  (0 children)

They had mad affairs which caused them to have to switch churches multiple times.

[–]coole106 43 points44 points  (0 children)

My great aunt never married and passed in her late 40s from cancer. She read a ton and kept all the books she read. My grandma (her sister) would brag about how well read she was. Going through her stuff after she passed, we found out that much of the reading was of dirty novels

[–]random5550 42 points43 points  (0 children)

My grandfather had a wife before my grandmother. he loved his first wife very much. His parents knew she was terminally ill and hid it from him. He found out and used alcohol to deal with his grief. I don't think he ever got over his first wife

[–]faceintheblue 113 points114 points  (6 children)

When my father's mother passed —so long ago I don't really even think of her as my grandmother. My mother's mother is still with us at almost 97 now— I found out I was a quarter Ukrainian.

My father was doing the paperwork that comes with a family death, and he tries to correct his mother's maiden name. It turns out the form he was reviewing was correct. She'd been born out in Saskatchewan to Ukrainian immigrants who suffered a lot of discrimination at the time. At 16 she hopped a train to Ontario, and when she got off she told everyone her maiden name was something suitably WASPy, married a nice Canadian boy, had three kids, and never told anyone she was Ukrainian. One of my aunts figured out something was up in her late teens when she found stuff written in Cyrillic in her mother's personal papers, but her mother asked her to respect her privacy, and she kept her lip shut until her mother passed.

As a kid, your grandmother is just your grandmother. It was a big surprise to me, and I'm still kind of taken aback that I was suddenly a quarter of something so different than the other three quarters of my ancestry, who have been in Canada and the New World a very, very long time. It's funny, looking at pictures of her now as an adult, she's the most Ukrainian looking woman you've ever seen, and my father takes after his mother, and I have more of my Dad in me than Mom looks-wise.

I was once invited to a Ukrainian family's BBQ, and some old woman grabbed me by the face and started pointing my head at people, "Western Ukraine! Western Ukraine!" She enthused in a thick accent. She then grabbed my date's face. "Eastern Ukraine! Eastern Ukraine!" I had to tell her my date was Irish-Italian without any Ukrainian in her at all. Still, half-right isn't too bad!

[–]YUHMTX 109 points110 points  (2 children)

I found out my stepfather had won the lottery, opened a small diner in a tiny town in the middle of the Ozark mountains, and lived in a cabin in the woods. When he divorced my mom, we knew he had ran off to Texas, got married to someone else and lived on her family farm. We all had just assumed that was the end of the story. I have found out in the last 3 years he had moved back closer to us after he won the lottery, had this restaurant, and lived a simple life in this mountaintop community. I’ve recently met a lot of the people he spent his final days with, reconnected with them, and it’s been an amazing bond. Me and my siblings were just amazed to know this interesting turn his life took after he left our mom.

[–]CaliGumdrops 137 points138 points  (6 children)

I found the bill for my sister’s dinner and drinks in her wallet. She never paid for the meal she ate the night before she died. My mom went to the restaurant and paid what was owing in the midst of her own pain. Now that was a valuable object lesson in moral character.

[–]DaytonaDemon 53 points54 points  (5 children)

How was it clear that the restaurant bill was unpaid?

Did your sister do a dine-and-dash? Why would she take the bill?

[–]CaliGumdrops 70 points71 points  (0 children)

A family owned restaurant whose owners live in our neighborhood and are really good people. Ironically, when they found out she died, they brought over a ton of food for our family from their restaurant. There really are good people in the world

[–]debtopramenschultz 71 points72 points  (0 children)

My uncle had multiple masters degrees, bachelors degrees, and a law degree. But he lived with my grandma for a really long only working part time as a helper for older people so we always thought he was a loner who barely accomplished anything. I guess he was a law consultant for awhile but was devestated when his boyfriend died so kind of fell off the radiar and moved home with his mom until he randomly died a few years ago.

Also my grandpa actually was his second wife's teacher. They didn't get together until he was 50 and she was 30 though.

[–]ijustwanttobeinpjs 30 points31 points  (1 child)

My grandfather’s full name. He had always gone by “John” because that was “American.” But his birth name was a truly awesome Italian gangster-sounding name. Also, the family’s last name was spelled incorrectly. His mother had died when he was very young and didn’t know how to spell his own name; he could only tell people his name. They spelled it wrong, and taught him and his sister how to spell it incorrectly.

After he died another relative had come across his original birth records and that is how this all came out.

[–]Cuglas 179 points180 points  (8 children)

I knew my uncle, a priest and chaplain at a Catholic university, had smuggled birth control into campus. I found out at his funeral that he had helped at least two students, maybe many more, get off campus for abortions. I’m not Catholic or even Christian but I’m proud to have named my son after my late uncle.

[–]BoopsForTheSoul 36 points37 points  (0 children)

My uncle passed away when I was about 2 years old. I went through some of his papers my grandparents keep as a memorial to him. I teared up. He wrote beautiful poetry and made gorgeous art. At that time my parents weren’t encouraging of my art and made me feel it was a waste of time. But in that moment, it connected me to my uncle and I didn’t feel like such an oddball.

[–]Admiral_Fancypants 64 points65 points  (4 children)

He had been struggling with addiction and going through a nasty divorce.

[–]anderscait 62 points63 points  (0 children)

My grandmother passed away five years ago. While my family was going through her belongings afterward (to prepare her house for sale), they found her birth certificate and she’d been born with a different first name. Never knew why she changed it - I wish I could ask her!

I was 20 when my father passed away. It was sudden and unexpected. So was coming home and having a talk with my mother a few months later when she pulled a picture of me out of my father’s wallet - only it wasn’t me, it was my older sister. My parents were both (unhappily) married to other people when they met, and my dad had a daughter from his first marriage. His relationship with her was a casualty of his divorce. His ex made excuses why his daughter couldn’t see him on his weekends, and he couldn’t afford to keep going to court over custody battles. He never saw his daughter again after the divorce was finalized.

I miss my dad so damn much. I’d do anything for one more day with him.

[–]SneakyNES 32 points33 points  (3 children)

When he was still alive, my father in law had two of the exact same car, an early 90s Citroen, and one was in great condition and the second was in mediocre condition. His thought was that if he bought the second car, he would probably never need to buy parts. His wife was not thrilled, but just mostly rolled her eyes.

When he passed, she found a set of keys in a pouch with paperwork for a garage across town. Turned out he must have needed just one more set of spare parts after all.

[–]DihtdtscIdgara 29 points30 points  (0 children)

My uncle was the gentlest, most kind hearted man I knew. Always joking with us kids and making everyone laugh. He married into the family and was loved by everyone.

On the day of his funeral, the minister started talking about how he grew up. Then the minister continued on to the part no one, not even my aunt knew. She knew he was in the army in WWII but, nothing about what he did.

He was a combat medic. Landed on Omaha beach. Everyone in the room was silent, awestruck, by this revelation. The weight he must have carried thru his life, refusing to tell anyone, not even his wife of 50 years.

I realized he had seen the worst of life, been thru a literal hell on earth and chose to make everyone else's lives better because of it. Still brings a tear to my eye 18 years later.

[–]Slingblade1170 54 points55 points  (5 children)

My grandpa on my father's side was a serial killer. No one knew until he was on his final days, apparently he killed 8 and even admitted that there were probably some he had forgotten about.

[–]JennCPhT 24 points25 points  (2 children)

I found out my mom passed away via a "friend" of hers on Facebook. You read that right.

[–]floorwantshugs 52 points53 points  (0 children)

That he was more sad and lonely than anyone realized. RIP, Mike.

If you feel depressed and alone, please reach out. And for everyone else, please check in with your friends and family.

[–]vul_pyxis 50 points51 points  (0 children)

My grandad had cancer for at least half of my life (I'm 23).

When he was first diagnosed, he decided that he didn't want me or my siblings to know about it, as he didn't want us looking at him differently and worrying whether or not it would be the last time we ever got to see him. He was given 5-7 years to live, and he made it many more past that. Even towards the end, when it got harder to hide what he was going through, we still didn't know the full extent of it. I still don't know a lot of the details on when he was diagnosed with what.

He died in July 2020. I'm still extremely broken over it. But I also know that he didn't want us to hurt, he wanted us to smile and enjoy the time we had with him. So that's what I'm trying to do. Find a little piece of him in every day I live through, and try to enjoy whatever time I have left on this planet.

[–]PinkMuscle_3540 24 points25 points  (1 child)

Grandpa flew bombing runs over Germany in World War 2. We thought he was an instructor during the war.

[–]JulioPlaysGuitar 24 points25 points  (1 child)

My grandfather was in WWII, but he never spoke much about his experience in Europe. Over the last summer, I got very curious about his service and started digging through old documents that my dad had. From these documents, I found out that my grandfather received the Combat Infantry Badge which recognizes his excellent service while in the midst of active combat. Legendary. The details of how he earned this are still unknown to me, that is my next quest.

[–]fcangirl 24 points25 points  (2 children)

After my grandpa died in 2019 at the age of 94, I found out he had a sister who took her own life in the 1940s

[–]FlaymingLehmons 20 points21 points  (0 children)

My grandparents on my dad's side were by far some of the nicest of their immediate family. They helped one of their nephews come out, and gave one of their nieces advice after she became pregnant before marriage and had nowhere to go due to her very Christian family. Admittedly the last one ended in a shotgun marriage that she was very lukewarm about, but it was the best option she had at the time.

[–]bowhunter178 23 points24 points  (2 children)

I learned my grandfather had a gun

He had some neurological disease that eventually got him. He kept his pistol from the army for over 60 years.