It’s funny that I had an epiphany about love on Halloween…that’s just funny to me. You would think Christmas, maybe Thanksgiving, a wedding? Nope…Halloween. I was looking for the candy bowl my parents use to hand candy out to trick-or-treaters and the electronic pumpkin to put out on the front porch. I never found either of these things, but I did find the American flag that my Nana received when my Grandpa Max died. It made me think…
My Nana, my dad’s mother, was married to her husband for 35 years before he died. I never met my Grandpa Max, but I hear he was a character. Their first date was on a sail boat, my Grandpa was a sailor. It wasn’t his profession, but most certainly his hobby. My favorite picture of him that is always at the front of my mind is a picture of him standing on a sailboat, in a polo shirt, smiling, with his hands propped on his hips. I see that picture, and I see love.
Sometimes I wonder if he is looking down on me and I like to think that he would be proud. He would play the piano, so I tried to play the piano. I was unsuccessful, but I think that he may have gotten a chuckle out of seeing me try. He sailed with my dad, and I hope one day that my dad will sail with me. That is one of the adventures I am looking forward to having the most with my old man. I like to think that he would be proud of me for my faith, my heart, my desire to make my house a home, my perseverance, my drive, my creativity.
My Grandpa was in the Navy and he was a really good doctor. He loved the water and sometimes I wonder if that is why my dad and I love the water too. Why I can just sit in the ocean and feel at peace. I think my whole family was broken by my Grandpa’s death. He left children too early, he left my Nana too early, and I think that he left the world too early. Too early to meet his grandchildren. My Nana says that 35 years isn’t a long time, it seems like eternity to me. Although, I like to think that when I get married 35 years will feel too short to me too.
What I have learned the most from my Grandpa Max is that broken hearts doesn’t mean broken love. My Nana is so much love wrapped up in one woman. And despite moments of loneliness, getting older, and children moving away she knows how to say “I love you” better than anybody I know. She knows how precious those words are and how you can’t say them enough. She hasn’t let life events change the meaning of love. And if it has changed, it has made it even more important. Even though my grandpa is gone, he is still here. People have memories of him that are nothing but love.
Just because life has moments that shake us or drag us down a little bit it doesn’t mean that we are allowed to stay broken forever. We heal. When we are hurt by something, think about how it could potentially grow our love stronger instead letting it be watered down.