I know I've been quiet. It's been hard to write since I have been dating someone for the past 3 months and we seem to be rocking along. We did meet using online dating and he definitely is not my type (whatever that means, not a complete douche and not tall). So far, the most understanding , kind and sweet man I have dated (there's still time to be a blog post, don't panic). There was a big falling out before Christmas but things have since continued on in merriment so we will not talk about him just yet, there's still time for this to go completely South or for me to be sure it won't (can't imagine how I would get to such a place).
This post will be about two people whose marriage and relationship I have always been in awe of. Absolute relationship goals, the most real and awesome relationship I saw in my whole life. I am speaking about my grandparents. Their initials are E and B but I will go ahead and call them Grandma and Grandpa for this post. Those weren't the names we called them as kids either but I will continue the anonymity for my grandparents as well.
My Grandma has many times told me stories of how they met and what happened to them leading up to their marriage when I was 9 (she would also tell me stories of her whole dating life, she called herself a floozy and nothing made me happier. So honest and open and hell yeah be proud grandma!). I guess I should step back, this would be my grandma and my step grandpa. I never knew my grandma when she was with my biological grandfather and of the few interactions I had with him he wasn't very nice. So at middle age my Grandma was single and out in the world being her amazing, fun, spirited and graceful (yet still a floozy) self. She had a job at the local Children's Hospital and was an amazing Grandma, Mom, friend and whatever else she could be. Have I mentioned, I adore my Grandma? I idolize her and in the family I am often compared to her and told that we are very similar.
Now, I may not have all the details correct but you don't know my grandparents so it won't really matter. From conversations with her and knowing them, this is basically how it went. My Grandma went to a Club Med type vacation somewhere with a beach (I picture Jamaica but for all I know it wasn't) as a single woman having a nice vacation. While on this vacation she met the man who would become my Grandpa (and we are so lucky she met him). I believe he was there for work (but I could be full of shit on that), they flirted, spent the vacation basically together and found out that they both lived in the same area (kismet you could say). A perfect meeting until the ugly detail that emerged, which was that my Grandpa was already married with kids back home (many murder stories begin this way, thank goodness this did not end up in a murder). They went home from vacation and this could have been the end of it but it was not.
Turns out, they would run into each other back home at a Theatre (this is vague in my mind so the details may be wildly incorrect) and after this it started a 4 year long affair which brought each much guilt. No matter the guilt, they could not stay away from each other. I am not for cheating on your spouse at all, but I do believe there is generally a reason this happens. I am not sure what my Grandpa's first marriage was like but I know truly that he and my grandma found a true, real and very strong love and that was hard to throw away even though he had committed to someone else.
Over time, and this she told me directly, the guilt began to take over and my grandma decided that he wouldn't leave his wife for her and continuing this as an affair was not for her. She called it off. Her SIM controller, or God or whatever creator of the Universe you believe in, had other plans. Within days my grandpa's wife had passed away from a brain aneurysm. Since this is generally a murdery blog and where I tend to go with things, I can see that maybe this looks bad for my grandpa (like he could have caused this to happen). It was natural causes and there was never any suspicion otherwise. I also knew this man my whole life, there isn't a chance he would harm anyone ever. My grandma however, told me that she has always carried a guilt over this. Guilt that her and my grandpa were meant to be, so in order for that to happen a higher power made it possible and this woman died. As far as I know she was a lovely woman who did not deserve this ending even though it opened up this amazing life for my grandparents.
I don't think it was instant. Again, these are details I am foggy on. He definitely grieved a great loss with his children and my grandma would never have pushed in on that but eventually they were together. It wasn't easy, it took many, many years, but they never gave up on each other and always found their way back. They truly only wanted to be with each other. I don't even know if they knew this early on or realized it later. I believe in soulmates and true love when I think of them (and only them) because what they had I have never seen before or since. It was truly beautiful (is that out there for all of us and we have missed opportunities?).
So at 9 years of age my grandparents were married in their backyard. I was a flower girl and was made to wear an awful floral dress with a Sunday Church type hat with hair they curled like Shirley Temple. However, the day was truly beautiful and I always remember my grandma beaming in her light purple wedding dress. I knew this marriage would last forever and it did.
Over the years my grandpa did so much for her family. He helped my father with lawyers due to an unpleasant court case where he was the defendant. He helped me with my rent and furniture many times without hesitation. We weren't his blood, he didn't have to, but he chose my grandma and all of us that came with her. He loved us all and gave to us all and was my grandpa. I should note that I lived my entire life on the other side of the country and wasn't around them all the time, I am sure there were bad times and I am sure things weren't always perfect but if they weren't I am glad I don't know about it.
They lived a long happy marriage. My grandma is still with us today at 91 years old but my grandpa passed on from this world a few years back at the age of 92. When asked if she was lonely her response always resonated with me (and made me quite sad). She said, 'I am not lonely, I miss him, I want him'. Of course that is what she wants, she was not ready to leave the rest of us and continues on in this world without him but misses him always. When he was passing away, she was on this side of the country visiting with us. She spent a week here and then headed back home. She came home, laid down with him and held his hand. This is when he died, it was hard for her to experience but he waited for her to get home, he waited to hold her hand and to see her one last time before he let go. He gave her a chance to say goodbye because they truly were madly in love after all those years.
I flew there after he died and sat Shiva (Grandpa was Jewish) with my grandma as she mourned him. His kids visited her and have been very kind to her. We attended the service and we said goodbye to the only grandfather I ever knew (I had the biological one as well but he made no effort to be a part of our lives). This is where she told me how they met, how in love she was and how heavy a loss this was for her. I adore my grandma, I love how she shared with me and I adored him for making her feel so loved and appreciated and being who he was. I am so glad in her life she experienced a great love.
This is what I am looking for. That great love. Like I said, I have only seen it once but is it too much to strive for? The way they looked at each other up into their 90s. It all started with an affair and the story could have gone very differently.
What could have happened? Let's break it down...
Met a stranger at Club Med ( a married stranger at that), she was alone and this could have been very murdery
Returned home and never saw him again and instead had to date douchey randoms like her granddaughter currently has to (but pre-online dating so meeting random people you can't even Google, yikes)
Returned and started affair, when she called it quits he becomes enraged and someone goes (could have been her, a murder suicide...many options)
Met some other guy at Club Med who is nowhere near as wonderful as my grandpa and a Dear John type scenario ensues (if you haven't seen the Dear John show from Netflix that I am referencing, I would highly recommend it, it's a true story and something to be careful of)
None of that happened because they're both just great people. I love my grandparents and I wish my grandma still got to hold my grandpas hand but as long as she can't I am grateful I still have her in this world.