Do you ever wonder how a love lasts a lifetime?
We read about it and ponder it and imagine it and dream about it and watch an entire Hallmark channel devoted to it…..
….but does it really happen?
Forever and ever amen?
To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish…..
…..all the days of our lives.
For Christmas my sister found an old stack of letters written from my grandfather to my grandmother.
Worn and faded and dog-eared written in 1940 and tied with a piece of packing string….
….the letters were tucked away in a box in the top of my grandmother’s closet for over half a century.
My sister transformed the letters into a book for each of us at Christmas.
Those letters my grandfather sent to box 54.
Letters with pages full of sketches a few of the actual letters and drawings and tables and charts…..and words.
Wonderful scripted words tumbling over themselves to be read.
Pages and pages and pages of words.
Each page telling its own story.
Painstakingly written in great detail…..
…..to record the thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams of a young couple in love.
And when I opened the book and the letters and began to read those words that whispered from decades long ago….
…..I expected to find flowery phrases and vows of love written with great flourish and fanfare.
Words that would make Dickinson and Keats and Byron blush.
I mean….after all…..
…..that’s how love letters in the movies always are.
But the letters were surprisingly ordinary.
Just a life well-lived.
My grandfather wrote about his schedules and his day and the moldings in the library and what he ate and how his day was.
He added sketches of horses and houses.
And told her he was saving money.
And that he missed her.
And as I read and read and read…..looking for the sweeping emotions…..for the grand words and the brilliant gestures….I suddenly realized….
….the love was right in front of me all along.
To him…..love was more than a hurricane….or a storm….or a hurling, tossing, swirling passion.
It was in the quiet words of love at the end of a letter.
In the simple turn of phrase.
In the everyday details of a life lived with his heart belonging to my grandmother…..full of love…..
….for a lifetime
PS I do think there was a little Hallmark movie in him after all.
I found this super flashy, flowery romantic quote……
…….“Your letters are for me like gasoline is for my car.”
Byron would have been proud. 🙂