– by Michael!
Tomorrow is a lot of things.
For Joanie and myself, it will be the first day we wake up in our new home. The first day we have hada home, a place of our own, since May. No more company-apartment, no more crashing-with-family – it’s our space, our home.
It’s also, according to the magical library of the interwebs, the day when copper coins were first minted in Japan in 708, the day that Portugal recognized Brazil’s independence in 1825, the day that Katrina did most of its damage in 2005, and the day that the United Kingdom abolished slavery in 1833.
It’s a pretty important day for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons.
But perhaps the biggest reason for me personally to celebrate is that tomorrow is my grandparents’ seventy-first anniversary.
That is amazing.
I mean, let’s be honest. Really amazing. We live in a world in which it’s pretty impressive for a loving relationship to hit seventy-one months, even weeks.
But they’ve been together for…
Seventy one years.
It started with a midnight train from Georgia. Maybe not so much the midnight part, but definitely a train – they boarded together and were married on the far end of the tracks in Florida, before Granddaddy went to boot camp, to Officer Candidate School, to war. They had fast, fleeting weeks of being newlyweds on Army bases before he left for England, and when he came back he could still hear bullets ringing above his head in Dover, she could never hear “I’ll be Home for Christmas” without weeping, but he made it, they made it.
For seventy-one years.
They raised three beautiful, charming, confident daughters. They saw the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. They doted on their six grandchildren. They learned how to email. They taught me how to play gin. They’ve wept as friends and family have passed away. They showed me, and still show me, how hospitality works.
They fight, every day, the awful war against Alzheimer’s, that creeping thing that marches so slowly yet kills so quickly.
And in the face of it all, their lives – their love – still shines in everything they do.
After seventy-one years.
Gram and Granddaddy, I love you – and I wish you joy and warmth in every tomorrow you have with each other.