Love Built From the Ground Up

“Grandma and Grandpa painted a picture of 53 years and one, little house….they built their love from the ground up.”

Today my grandparents would have been married 55 years. As I sit here at my desk at work, I reflect on the profound impact their love has had on me. It’s completely, totally, and incredibly awe-inspiring, and overwhelming at the same time.

Tears are welling up in my eyes as I write this. Happy tears; for a marriage so beautiful, so strong, and so priceless, that nothing could possibly come close to it. Happy tears; for being able to have this love story as a part of my family….forever. I truly am blessed in the most wonderful ways.

Yet, at the same time, tears of sadness begin to roll down my cheek. Sad tears; for knowing that my grandparents aren’t celebrating this day together. One in Heaven, one on earth, it’s heartbreaking to know that my grandma has lost her companion. The man she’s been with for nearly 60 years. My heart hurts for her.

But, throughout the hurt, there is some joy, and I’m sitting here wondering how it’s possible to feel such opposite emotions at the same time. Warm memories snuggle into my heart now as I look back on their life together. From meeting at the tender age of six, to becoming godparents at age 16, to falling in love and marrying at age 20, to building a home and a family, their story is nothing short of a miracle.

As I browse through some of their historic wedding photos that I scanned to my phone, I smile to myself. I could only imagine how my grandma was feeling that day. A young bride about to marry her best friend, her soul mate, the love of her life. I wonder what was going through her mind then. I wonder what went through his mind. Did they know their story would impact their future granddaughter? Did they know that through all of life’s ups and downs, they would always manage to overcome every obstacle together?

I laugh as I remember their playful moments together. How they would sometimes act like two little children having the time of their lives. My heart turns to complete mush as I remember the romantic gestures they would show each other. A kiss, a hug, the sparks in their eyes, the “just because” gifts, the way my grandfather used to take complete care of my grandmother – simply because he loved her, and she was his world.

I cry as I remember the two short weeks of my grandpa’s illness, and how my grandma watched with helplessness, and took care of him with such unutterable tenderness.

This love, is only something that I can dream of. Since I was a little girl, it was never about Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella or Prince Charming, it was always about grandma and grandpa. And it will forever will be.