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A love like Johnny and June

January 8, 2010

I caught sight of a twinkle in his eye. I followed his line of sight to my grandmother, where she sat opening a gift. Under the wrapping and tissue paper all I could see was fire engine red lace. It was my 16th Christmas and I had just I discovered my grandfather’s long held tradition of giving my grandmother sexy underwear. As the years passed I kept watch on my grandmothers gifts and every year there would be one she would unwrap and quickly tuck off to the side.

My grandfather was to me the greatest example of love. He loved me unconditionally and believe me there were times that I tested it. And he loved my grandmother. They went through their share of trials, as all marriages do but in the end they were together.

My grandfather married my grandmother against his parents wishes. My great-grandmother wore black to the wedding – which in those days was hugely symbolic. My grandmother was raised by a single mother, her parents had divorced in an age when the act was still scandelous. She was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. My grandfather was the dutiful son from one of the best families in town. He had grown up in boarding schools and under the care of a nanny. After marrying my grandmother, he finished law school and took over the family law firm. I will forever be grateful for his act of rebellion, marrying not because of her last name but for love.

My grandmother has grown frail, she now lives on the main floor of her house. The upstairs bedroom she once shared with my grandfather now sits empty. This Thanksgiving I opened a drawer in her old dresser. There, alone, was a box. A set in pale blue sat nested in tissue paper.

Until the day he died my grandfather loved my grandmother. She knew it and I knew. Because there it was, the last set my grandfather would ever buy my grandmother. He loved her, until the end. And his love lives on, tucked away in a drawer and tucked away in my heart.

A love that weathers the storms and rejoices in the sun. A love that has a firm foundation and builds from there. That kind of love exists, I know because I have been lucky enough to see it.

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One comment

  1. What a great story, I’m a bit choked up reading it. That’s the kind of love we all strive to be a part of, with the right person.

    You are a gifted writer as well.



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