After spending a weekend with my extended family for a wedding, I couldn’t help but notice just how feeble my grandparents have become. Still, I can only hope to be as strong as they have been in character and determination.
It was 1944 when my grandmother was busy working in her garden on the little farm my grandparents had purchased. Their first baby, my mother, was due that summer and my grandfather had just come home from the war for leave until the baby came. For extra money, my grandfather, a pilot, taught flying lessons. It seemed like a great idea until one of his students flew the plane into the ground.
My grandmother’s whole world crashed around her. How did she have the strength at 20 years of age to handle being a widow while expecting a baby?
My mother came along, right on schedule. Since my grandparents had already agreed to name a boy Junior, my mother was saddled with her father’s name (which is a whole different story).
Right after the accident, the grandfather I know arrived on the scene. He loved my grandmother and wanted to take care of her. Two years later, they were married – despite the protests from his family (this wasn’t the time or age where men married widows and took care of children not fathered by them). They went on to have two more children, another girl and a boy.
Next month will mark their sixty-third anniversary.
We should be so lucky to be loved as they have loved each other.