Violets picked with John

My grandparents on my father’s side were married just shy of 50 years. They met at Roberts Wesleyan College somewhere around 1950. My grandfather was over six feet tall and was the big man on campus. All the girls in the laundry room wanted to iron his shirts, but it was my little five foot tall grandmother that caught his fancy. It is crazy to think how long ago it was that they met. I wonder what their early relationship was like and if they somehow knew they would be together forever. Unfortunately, I did not have as much time with my grandparents as I would have liked. The older I get the more questions I have that will never be answered in words.

img_0614This past week my parents were able to go through some of their things. Most of it was boxes of letters and different odds and ends, but my parents brought a few things back for me. There is pin that belonged to my great grandmothers, a Bible that was given to my grandmother in 1937 by the ladies in her church, a ribbon from a camp long ago and a few other things. One item that stood out to me the most is a simple envelope that says “Violets picked with John – 5-4-51”. When I opened the envelope there was a faded, pressed bundle of violets and my first thought was this is the kind of love I want.

In May of 1951 my grandparents were not engaged yet, but for some reason this small bundle of flowers were important enough to keep and be found over 60 years later. I wonder how many times this envelope was moved before it found its way to me. What did they talk about as these violets were picked to make it such a memorable day? What would the story be if my grandmother was still alive and I took this envelope to her? As much as I would love answers to all of these questions and more, the most important message I see is the love they had for each other. I want this kind of love.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

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