This is my Gampy & Gampy. They have been married for seventy one (yep! 71) years. What an inspiring couple, and to have them in my life, what an amazing gift!
For as long as I can remember my grandparents have truly been like the sayings "we go together like.... Peanutbutter and Chocolate, Strawberries and Cream, Beach and Sand, Ham and Cheese... You get the picture. One is good, but couple them and OHHH MY!
As a child I recall my grandparents always being near to one another. They always sit next to one another at a table when dining, when in a room, they are within arms reach, when walking in a crowd they have one another by the hand, one eye always on the other. As I've grown older I notice more complex things, like leaning in and asking one another if they are ok, need anything and the eye contact and a wink. They are very nurturing to one another. Very loving. Very adoring...Very much a God blessed relationship.
Two summers ago, I was blessed to share my grandparents 70th Wedding Anniversary. I was at a place in life where I'd been divorced, moved from that into an ugly relationship, from that to not wanting a relationship at all. During my visit, I really intently watched my grandparents. How they communicated with one another. How they silently showed their compassion and love. How they looked after and kept attention on the other, even when a rooms length apart. How they always moved toward one another when it was time to eat, or sit down and visit. They were like magnets, always finding one another and sticking together. It warmed my heart.
I spent a day on the beach while I was visiting. One day I put my book down and just watched the people. My grandparents live in a retirement community, so those who I watched were older, much older. I had no idea of anyone's story, struggle or situation, only what I could see from my sandy bottom beach chair on the edge of the water in the sand.
I would watch older couples walking. The woman racing ahead and the gentleman racing from behind to keep up. I would see couples hand in hand walking at the same pace. I would see couples, one leading the other along. I would see couples one talk, talk, talking and the other looking off as though this is quality time but I'd rather be doing something else. Some couples were near in age and some showed great spans. Some looked genuinely happy and others looked like they were just along for the ride. It made me stop and think, when I grow old where do I want to be in my walk with someone.
I'd been prayerful for a very long time for someone to share my life. Not just "do life" but share life with me. I had prayed for a kind man, who loved Jesus and baseball (in that order!), who would love my children as much as he loved me. Who would lie beside me at night and say the same prayers of thanks for what we shared. I prayed for a man who would make me laugh, who would lift me and who would encourage and support me. Who would learn to understand me and why I'm how I am. Who would accept me, brokenness, flaws and all. I prayed that there was a man who had a similar prayer and I would fill his prayer list as well.
In reality, I knew it would be a long shot, but I never ceased to pray.
"pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
It was weeks after arriving home from that trip, that God brought into my life an incredible man. The man I had prayed for. (*note, I had been praying for years)
After church one day, Jeff stopped me and asked me for a minute of my time. I knew within days, this was the man that I would be blessed with to walk with. This is the man who I had prayed for and had prayed over. This is the man who God had brought into my life, to share my walk. Not just share my walk through life, but to share my walk with God as well. This is the man who I admire, love, adore, cherish and desire. This is the man who loves Jesus and loves baseball (Boston, seriously... that there proves God has a sense of humor ~ I am a Yankee's girl) he loves my children and he loves me. He looks at me when we are in a crowded room keeping one eye on me, he sits next to me at the table, he holds my hand and walks with me when we are going. He is the man who I will grow old with.
I find it such a blessing that over the years, although I don't see my grandparents nearly as often as I would like ~ when I do see them, their story ~ their message, their meaning of relationship just melts my heart.
When I married my husband, I knew that we would grow old with one another.
The Tuesday after we were married, when he phoned to tell me that our honeymoon to Yellowstone was postponed (yes my heart sank) .... he felt it was more important that we go see my grandparents, because he could see how much they mean to me and Yellowstone would always be there, my grandparents would not. That morning, in that moment, I also knew that the love I witnessed in my grandparents relationship, God had blessed me with as well. It goes beyond words what it means to me, to travel to Florida with my husband so I may introduce him to the couple who have defined "loving relationship" in my life, who I adore and love and so desire to share with.... the man I will grow old with.
"That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." Genesis 2:24