Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A love story the makes me happy.


It was summer 1943, a 17 year old girl went with her sister to go meet a young man that her parents thought suitable for her.  Being in a rural area, they were to go and sit with the boys on the porch at the boys’ home, dating the way we think of it didn’t exist.  The went by buggy, since the boys were one town over, and while they were to be chaperoned with the boys, for the buggy ride it was just the two girls.  The eldest was used to her independance, as she had been working for the family from a young age, either carrying homemade jams into town to sell, or helping out for women who had recently given birth.  A sort buggy ride was nothing new or daunting to her.

Meanwhile, two young men, aged 18 and 19 were making themselves as presentable as possible after a hard day of clearing forest by hand.  They washed away the sweat and dirt with the help of their mother and then sat on the porch to await the young ladies coming to meet them.  Meanwhile, another young man, only just 16, teased his brothers about their "wife shopping".  He did his usual quick wash up after a days’ work, and sat with his brothers.

They would later say it was instant, fireworks.  The 17 year old, fiercly independant girl, and the shy barely 16 year old boy.  In those days i twas almost unheard of for a girl to be older than her fiance, and it turned out to be quite the scandal since she had been intended for his eldest brother, but from that day on, they only had eyes for eachother and neither would budge.

Almost two years later, after a long courtship due to the groom being on the young side and a little cought unawares and unprepared, they were married in a triple ceremony.  Two sisters and a brother married two brothers and a sister.  The war was coming, and this was not a rich area, so no one thought it odd that they would all share the ceremony since the guest lists would be the same anyways.

For their time and their place, they were quite the odd couple to an outsider’s eyes.  He was a tall, stocky man, she a tiny wisp of a woman who only ever weighed 100lbs when she was pregnant.  She hated cooking, so she bought ready made food during the week, and he would cook the family dinners on the weekends when he was home.  During the week she wore pants, and drove a car, and took care of most aspects of her husband’s affaires.  It was widely known that it was he who was the soft touch.

They would share in 15 pregnancies, 11 births, and 9 children who survived to adulthood.  At the wedding of their second child, she was pregnant with the last.  When people would ask why she didn’t demand a second bedroom as most women did at the time, she would just smile, and say that her husband belonged in her bed.

Years later he would be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and as his health deteriorated, people would ask why she didn’t just place him in a home, she would just smile, and say that her husband belonged in her bed.

Eventually, he was so sick that he had no mobility whatsoever, and it was then that her children decided to force her to put him in a nursing home.  The home was a 20 minute drive away, but she went every day.

In 1995, he died, less than a year later it was her in the nursing home.  She gave up driving, shopping and most activities, the only thing she enjoyed anymore was visits from her family, where she would always repeat the family is what is most important in this world.

In 2009, when she was nearing the end, her mind started to wander, and often happens, and she would spend most of her time reliving other periods of her life.  They all included him.  Once, she asked for her blue shoes, when asked why, she replied that the blue shoes went with her blue dress and that she had to hurry and get ready because Nelson was on his way to take her dancing.  Almost 15 years after his death, he was still alive, and well, and young and handsome in her head.

This story makes me smile because it is the story of my grandparents.  They were far from perfect, but they had an amazing love and a true partnership.  No matter how jaded I became, I would imagine them young, her in her blue dress, dancing, and I would remember that though it is rare, that kind of love does exist.

Inspired by Mama Kat’s pretty much world famous writing prompts - A love story the makes you happy

Mama’s Losin’ It

4 comments:

  1. I love it! what a sweet story

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was wonderful. My grandmother did that in her last months at the health care facility. She said she was playing her life over on a big screen. They also met quite young -- 18 and 21 and were married over 70 years.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! Just wow! You tell it so purely and perfectly. This may be my favorite, too.

    ReplyDelete