Friday. October 3, 2014. My husband’s 96-year-old grandmother married her 99-year-old boyfriend.
They wanted to keep their marriage on the down-low. Technically, I’m breaking a family trust by telling this story, but I can’t help it. So the names and locations are omitted to keep confidence.
Their marriage, whether they believe so or not, is a celebration of hope and acceptance. Due to their ages, they are probably more aware of their finite future together than any other newly-married couple in America. And they took the plunge anyway.
When one encounters beauty in this world, the kind of beauty that shakes one at the core and brings one to one’s knees, one cannot keep it bottled up. I cannot keep this bottled up. I have to share.
Because love this beautiful is too powerful to keep on the-down-low.
I have only been in Grandma’s life a little over ten years. But during those years, I never once felt like I didn't belong in her family. She accepted me straight-up with open arms and a welcome home.
And what I have learned from her in those ten years cannot be quantified. She’s the most amazing person that I am privileged to know.
Grandma is fond of military men – her first marriage was to an Army man, the second to a Navy pilot who survived Pearl Harbor -- and her new husband is no exception. Her now-husband was a Rear-Admiral in World War II and for a time during his military career, he worked at the Pentagon. His dry sense of humor is still quick and sharp, and he still enjoys a finger or two of a fine whiskey neat.
I want it known that I admire Grandma beyond measure. I know of the tragedies that have painted her life with devastating sorrow, the kind of sorrows that most would never recover from and no one would blame them for it. Yet, she is the phoenix that rises from the ashes, more radiant and glorious than ever.
And her husband I am equally in awe of. Again, open-hearted and accepting, from the first moment I met him. A man who knows the price of sacrifice, a man who made the call again and again, knowing that his decisions impacted the lives of his men in the Pacific Theater and the lives their loved-ones back home.
They don’t make men like him anymore. His breed is so rare that I wonder how I could possibly be so fortunate to have met him. And I get to call him Grandpa now.
My heart is so full: I’m having difficulty finding the words I want to say, or even the words I should be saying. I only know that words must be said.
A toast to the happy couple, who represent hope and heroism in their truest, purest form, an inspiration to all; May God continue to bless and keep you, and give you a thousand years of happiness each and every day.