Life, Love and the Things That Stick
Last night I was chatting with my Grandma Blanche; she’s a beautiful lady, eighty-three years old, I believe, very quiet, easily flustered in conversation, one of the most faithful people I’ve ever known, with a long-suffering, serving heart. I see a lot of my dad in her, but not much of myself, except perhaps in the ‘flustered in conversation’ part. I don’t get to sit and talk with her much anymore now that I’m older, now that I’m even more interested in her life stories and rich heritage. I heard some really beautiful stories last night, such as her being in labor with her first child and going out to milk the cows yet before going to the hospital, growing up driving a Model T, speaking English to her mother-in-law, who would speak German back to her (they understood both but preferred speaking in just the one). I wish so much I could’ve heard those conversations. My grandpa, August, was born in 1925 and died several years ago. She told me he started dating her just before she turned 15! He was 18 at the time, and when I asked her what she liked about him she smiled and said ‘Oh, everything’. I could see how much she missed him. She was so dedicated to him, I love that. I think the importance of such commitment is lost on most people. We’re constantly trying to make success in life about all the other things, anything but something so vulnerable, sacrificial, and rewarding as relationship. Marriage is so important and says so much about us. Probably the most about us. We try to make our style, dedication to our career, our skills, our sense of adventure, the amount of trivia we can spew, say the most about us, but it doesn’t. It’s fed solely by our character and if we don’t consider that what we choose to do with the every day things, before we choose our image, lying in the cracks of the day, is going to define us, we’re really being quite silly.
Today is my parent’s 33rd anniversary! Golly! That’s so amazing. I am so thrilled with the days I get to spend with Adam, and it’s just so exciting to think that they’ve gotten to spend 33 years worth of days together! My mom was telling me the other day how much her love for Dad grows, that she loves him more than she ever thought she could, with all of us kids leaving home almost at once, and leaving her life and days completely upended, my parents have gone through a lot in the past couple of years. It could easily go the other way. I don’t have to look far at all to find people I love who let it go the other way. It’s one of the most disheartening things in the world to see people give up on each other, to be broken and alone. I’m so incredibly thankful that God has allowed me to be so close to people who are committed to marriage, love and being absolutely, without a doubt, life companions. Mom said Dad’s doing such a great job of teaching her how to love him and serve him. That’s so well-said, it’s really such a big part of relationship, allowing yourself to be exposed, showing where you’re vulnerable, admitting the things you need. It’s such a gift to have a companion that asks you for that, it takes time to be able to trust someone enough with that. I think in our culture it’s deemed a waste of time to dedicate all of that to one person, just for the sake of closeness. Yeah, but it’s not.
I’m thankful; thankful for the love my parents have for each other every day, thankful for the love my grandma still holds for Grandpa, even though he’s gone. Let’s not forget to celebrate our loved ones’ marriages, to support them in committing whole-heartedly to one another. It’s so exciting!