a love story


It seems several times a year you hear of an old couple passing away with each other, or within hours of each other.  Then there’s the Notebook, which I think most of the popularity was the fact that they were so in love, nothing separated them, not even passing away.  He really really loved her. Well I have a love story, and I want my kids to one day know this one.

My grandparents were married 59 years.  Can you imagine spending 59 years with someone, that’s almost 6 decades. They went through wars, tv, cds, internet, cable,fast food and countless other things together.  Now unlike the Noah and his girl ( I can’t remember her name right now), they had their squabbles. Both were stubborn as could be and if my grandmother was mad at you, she was mad at you and could ignore you and make you feel awful in a way you would think not possible. The same grandmother would take care of you when you were sick and do everything she possibly could to love you and help you.  My grandfather was always comic relief, he was funny and he could talk.  I learned that they met, because my grandfather would watch my grandmothers legs walk past his house every day from her grandmothers house and finally he got up the nerve to talk to her.  They rest as they say is history, 3 kids later, 2 grandkids, and 3 great grandkids all got to know them and their love.  They held and cuddled us all.  Sadly my grandfather was called home last May as his body had slowly been shutting down for several months. It was hard, very hard to see him so helpless and sad, but he was not in pain and it happened quickly once he was in hospice.  One night about a week before he left us, I went to see him in the hospital, he was talking about the weekend and the horse racing papers he wanted me to buy him, he then said well if I’m still in the hospital I don’t want you to get them because it will be a waste of money.  I told him I’d get him whatever he wanted.  I thought wow, he’ll bounce back, he’s planning on coming back home and we can all get back to normal.  I stopped at the nurses station and asked her why he was talking like that if they thought he was so sick and weak, did he know he was sick? She told me, that when the times comes many people will tell loved ones what they think they want to hear, as to protect them from the truth.  A few days later he was gone.  We got the call in the middle of the night, my husband had just come home from sitting with him a few hours earlier.  I knew he was gone,I woke up out of breath right around when he left this world, and I felt ok.  My grandmother in the meantime, had become unresponsive.  As he got sicker, she was getting sicker.  Finally she went to the hospital on a Sunday since she was unresponsive. It was bad, she was in ICU. Not in a coma, but not waking up and not responding.  We started to call people to come and see her.  The morning after my grandfather died, her doctor called me and told me in the early morning she had “woken up” and was asking for us.  I could not believe it. My dad, aunt & I drove right to her.  We didn’t know what to do.  We needed to tell her my grandfather was gone,but we were afraid of her condition.  I think she knew in her heart, that and the fact that dad brought a chaplain along. Telling my grandmother that her husband of almost 6 decades was gone, was hard. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I’m kind of a straight up person, I don’t get too emotional, so I told her.  My dad and aunt were crying and freaking out.  Well time went by, she was moved out of ICU, we planned the memorial service.  She needed rehab to strengthen her legs and had finally decided to go, so she could come home and help potty train my daughter last summer.  I called her every day of my adult life.  On my Friday night call, she asked me to go and buy her some new underwear and pjs for the rehab. I worked all day Saturday and went to get the stuff, I saw her rehab called when I came in, but I didn’t call her, my aunt was there and said she was doing ok.  Later on around 10pm, the calls started coming to me, she wasn’t doing well. She was going to the hospital, she was unresponsive, could we come right away there wasn’t much time.  How do you deal with that?  The same thing happened a little over a week ago and she bounced back.  We were grieving my grandfather, we were stressed.  And then as my aunt was about to pick me up to take me to see her, the call came. She was gone.  11 days almost to the hour of my grandfather. Weeks later while going through her stuff, my aunt found a small devotional in her bag of things from the rehab and in her scratchy left hand writing, she had written “I love you Cal”, her last thought was on him and then she went to be with the man she had spent more time with than any other person on this Earth.  That to me was a love story.  We needed them both and wanted them both but God needed them more.  He knew we were ready and He knew they wanted to be together.I know what love is, love is  years of staying the ups and downs, loving your family and loving each other so strongly you couldn’t be without each other.

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