I often wonder about married life. What's it like to get used to being called wife? What it's like to be with someone for THAT long. I pray I am more in love with the man I marry after 50 something years than I was the day I married him. I hope I have a man that loves me unconditionally regardless of what life throws our way.
This was taken on their 50th wedding anniversary in the same place they took their wedding pictures in 1953.
These are my grandparents. You can call them Grandma and Granddaddy if you'd like. Sometimes people call him Uncle Russell, but he won't notice the different. This sweet duo will have been married SIXTY years in June. They have been each other's rock and best friend all these years. I want that.
I know you're thinking, sure great, two people married for a very long time. Sweet, but whatever.. but that's only half the romance. The real reason I want a marriage like theirs comes from the fact that, through sickness and in health, they are still side by side, hand in hand. You see, even though it's not even remotely romantic at all, but I still want a love like that.
At 80 years old, my grandfather has no idea who his wife of 59 years is. He suffers from Alzheimer and has for about the past 7-ish years. We really don't know when it set in, because it came in somewhat gradual, we couldn't pin point his behavior on a disease at a time, and just blamed it on him being old.
It's a terrible circumstance, but their love has shown me exactly what I need and should be in a marriage. My grandmother is still his primary care giver day in and day out. As she's aged and grown tired of the constant care that he requires and now welcomes and accepts daily help from my mom, aunts, and uncles. My heart aches for her and how much I know she misses the man she loves, but my heart is overcome with pride when I see the amount of love she still has for that man.
She still honors him as she had their entire marriage, she still treats him with compassion, love, patience, and respect. He has no idea who he is, where he is, who she is, and is about as coherent as a toddler, but she still treats him like a human being and not a degenerate. Take for instance this past Easter weekend. As he's grown older and weaker, he doesn't wander near as often or far and has started to stay pretty stationary. He sat in his recliner and didn't move most of the afternoon. When it came time for everyone to fix their plates and begin eating, we encouraged grandma to go first in line, but she declined and said she was going to sit with granddaddy, when I looked and saw her, she was sitting in the chair beside him holding his hand with the most gentle glow about her. It hit me hard just how beautiful that moment was. Through sickness and in health, richer or for poorer, better or worse, she has not left his side and is still ever so faithfully loving him and plans to till her very last breath.
I want that--to be loved unconditionally, wholly, deeply, forever, for always, till it's God's time for us to part. I pray that the husband that God chooses for me loves me and treats me the same way my grandparents do.