Happy Valentines Day to you all! As my single readers browse through this, I'm sure their defensive wall is already starting to be built over the frustration with this holiday. Rest assured, my lovelies, the focus on this is not against the bitterness that resounds on this day or the extreme love and gratitude I find in Aaron. The focus is on the gift of love from a grandparent who has lived 89 years and is slowly inching toward his final home.
My maternal grandpa is nearing his final stretch of life on this temporary earth. About a week and half ago, he took a nasty fall from his recliner into his wheelchair. Ten years ago, roughly, the decision was made to move him to the assisted living home in Halstead. It's a classy version of a nursing home and has been a great experience for our family. The fall was pretty solid, because he had the need to be placed on stronger pain medications. It was decided to bring in Hospice, twice a day, to administer pain medications for him.
Hospice. I hear that word and in my mind, death is already knocking at the door. And it has been, for 89 years.
Grandpa married my mother's mother over 55 years ago (I'm estimating, as I know that Mom is 53(?) and she's the youngest). My mother's mother passed away when Mom was two years old from breast cancer. Grandpa was left with 3 young girls, under the age of 10. It was not a shock when Grandmother passed; medical technology was not at all what we enjoy today. Her final years were intense beyond anyone can imagine. Mom and her two sisters were living in Wichita, KS with Grandpa's brother (Uncle Lee) and his wife (Aunt Irene) for the final duration of Grandmother's life. After grandmother's passing, grandpa remarried the sister of Aunt Irene. He had met Rose years prior, obviously, at Uncle Lee and Aunt Irene's wedding, etc. They all grew up around the same area (Andale and St. Mark's area). Grandma Rose made the move with Grandpa back to the poultry farm in western Kansas (Utica area). In short, BFE.
Rose was now the step-mother to three girls who had experienced helluva an emotional ride. Time would march on like it always does. Grandpa and Grandma Rose made the decision to adopt, however they wanted to adopted Catholic children and they vowed to never break up a family. A family of five children were discovered in Florida and without question, they boarded the plane with five extra one way tickets. Their lives had changed. Forever. These children needed a home with love and support, and that is what they were blessed with.
The transition was not easy and not always fun for mom and her sisters. Scarifies were made; Mom could not attend high school athletic events, for example, because that would mean someone would need to pick her up. Mom was the youngest of the three girls, so the changes and adjustments are most vivid for her. I'll say this about my mother: she's patient to a fault and that was a grace given to her by her mother, I believe, because she knew that Mom would need it in the coming years.
Bringing this back to the point of love and flowers and doves, talk about love. Grandpa and Grandma Rose showed a deep commitment to love by graciously adopting that family. Valentines Day is not always about your dreamy boyfriend or dedicated hubby. Or the kid in Natural Disasters that you're consistently stalking. It's about true love, regardless the circumstances.
So keep that in mind, as you're rolling your eyes at a florist van pulling up to your place of work. Pick up the phone and call your mom or dad. Or Grandparents. Celebrate the life that we're given and the fact that we can love without limits.