There’s just something so quietly beautiful about the way that elderly couples still hold hands as they walk through life together. There’s just something reassuring about the fact that a couple can face a lifetime of hardships together and yet somehow, still manage to come out of it all hand in hand and madly in love and to me, that will always be the definition of real, true love.
A love that could last through the ages.
Like many elderly couples, that is exactly the kind of love that my Grandma and Grandpa shared. Even just the way he looked at her was enough to melt your heart. He had that little sparkle in his eyes, the one that made you instantly believe in soulmates and although it may not have started in the overly romantic way that most fairytales do, how it all started wasn’t what mattered. What mattered was that they stole each others hearts right from the very beginning and going by the way Grandma still talks about Grandpa, I’d say neither of them ever really got theirs back.
I’m not quite sure in which order it all happened, whether it was the song that first reminded me of Grandma or a conversation that Grandma and I had a few weeks ago that reminded me of the song, but either way, I realised just recently that the two go hand in hand.
Like many people her age, Grandma is starting to forget a few things. Like anything, some days are worse than others, while some days aren’t so bad at all. Some days you’ll get lucky and you might only hear the same story two or three times. Other days though the phone can ring what seems like every hour, because by the end of each conversation Grandma can’t quite remember what it was she was calling for in the first place.
When it comes to conversations about Grandpa though, it’s a whole different story. She might not remember what she told you half an hour ago or even what she had for dinner that night, but just ask her about life back on the farm or the day that she first met Grandpa and she’ll tell you like it was yesterday.
“Grandma burned the biscuits
Nearly took the house down with it.
Now she’s in assisted living
We all knew that day would come.
We knew she was to gone to drive
The day she parked on I-65.
Found her on the shoulder crying
She didn’t know where she was.
It’s like her mind just quit.
Oh but bring up Grandpa- it’s like someone flipped a switch.
A front porch light and a blue Desota,
Couple of straws and a coca cola:
You can see it all going down.
A handsome boy in army green
A tear on his face – down on a knee,
Shaky voice, a diamond ring should put you in that town.
Tomorrow she won’t remember what she did today,
But just ask her about Ellsworth, Kansas, 1948.”
In the big scheme of things though, I guess it all makes perfect sense. You spend such a huge part of your life loving someone, that the footprint they leave on your heart is so big and so deep, not even age can take those memories away from you. No matter how much time might pass you by.