As this weekend approached me faster than i would have hoped, i was faced with a lot of emotions that all came spiraling in at once. Of course losing a grandparent is never easy--the bond one has with their grandmas and grandpas is soo special-and when it happens to you, again..well...what do you do to overcome the realization that wow, its not just grandma that's gone..its grandpa too. And when the other half is gone, its almost like losing the pair together-all over again.
After waves of emotion kept leaving and coming, over and over again, i finally sat down in my grandparents living room next to their bookshelf and took out all the photo albums. These photo albums didn't include the grandchildren--no brag books on this bookshelf. This bookshelf carried the photo albums that revealed true love as a wife, a first love as a new mom, then a second time around mom, then a third. These photo albums shared secrets, dreams and hopes. As I was looking at these photos admiring my grandma's natural beauty, and my grandpa's handsome smile--i became inspired. Inspired to create photo albums for my kids, and future grandchildren. I almost feel guilty for thinking pictures online was a justification for memories. Really, I would love levi and his siblings and their children to flip through their first baby photo, or the first time they took a bath, or their first popsicle..anything that reveals the love and innocence of their lives.
After looking through the photos, i decided to look for more in their bedroom on their other bookshelf. It was then i stumbled across a book of letters. Most of the letters were while my grandma was in Paris, London, Germany--communicating with her family. Then i came to a few discolored letters with the heading titled SCHELDON SCHOEN. I got all tickled inside--a real life love letter before their were phones! To my Grandma, from my Grandpa (I wish i lived before technology-truly) Anyway, it started with something like this...
"My Darling Regine, .......lalalala....lalalala...lala
lalala..i miss you and Michael. I am homesick and lovesick..
lalala lalala... I can't wait to be home and see you guys...
lalalla lalaalal lallaa... you have all my love,
*Michael was their first born*
Obviously I do not have all the details in here, but you get the jist. Nothing too mushy, but reminding the one you love how much you miss them and can't wait to see them. Maybe i'm just a sucker for sappy, love, mushy, gushy stuff. But to me, this was also inspiring. I learned while going through my Grandpa's photos and letters, that he was an avid writer. He also wrote journal entries about his struggles & accomplishments in life, he has written entries all the way up until about 8 months ago. I would love to continue his love for writing into my own life. I do write in jourals, not as much as i used to.. but i feel it in my heart to write. Josh and I leave little notes here and there to each other & I have written a few dreams i have for Levi in a letter. BUT, I am thinking the bigger picture. I would love Josh and I to write each other every now and then, and continue to write to Levi and just keep all of the letters in a box. Sealed up, for the future. As the years go by, keep filling the box with words that capture our lives. When Levi learns to write, i want him to write his family, cousins, aunts etc. I despise technology sometimes. Okay, i know i'm blogging, i'm on social media, i e-mail, i even take an online class. But, i think how real you had to be when my grandparents were young adults. You couldn't tell someone over the phone, or through a text, or e-mail how much you loved them. Instead, you poured your heart out on a piece of paper, or you looked that person in the eyes and revealed yourself--pure, honest and innocent. No hiding behind a screen, or masking emotion through a text.
This is all that matters.
These past few days have brought me to reflection. I know--trust me--that life isn't easy. love isn't easy. and being parents isn't easy. Especially staying true to yourself through it all isn't easy. My Grandparents are together in heaven, just like they were together here on earth--together through it all--and they have been through it all. really. It is refreshing, even through the tears, to reflect on their life-together-as a married couple. Yes, they both went through immense heartache before meeting, but when they did meet that was God. God brought them together and gave them love, a life and a family. God kept them together through 38 years of marriage. God also showed me and our family what the vow through sickness and in health--thick and thin really means.
I encourage everyone to reflect on what is important to them in life. Not the super techonology world that most are invested in. But think about if none of that existed. What matters to you? What people can you not live without? If your life isn't complete without those people, then put the computer down and snap a photo of your baby smiling, and write a love letter to a loved one. Because in 38 years, your words can capture the hearts of your family and those photos can reveal the love and joy throughout your lifetime.
Grandma got me hooked on Hazelnut and French Vanilla mixed coffee & Grandpa got me hooked on big band music-Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.
This is all that matters.
I love you Grandma and Grandpa. My heart is heavy-filled with joy and sadness all at the same time. But i know you both taught me so much that i can carry into my future. I love you both.