Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Different Kind of Love

My maternal grandmother lived to be ninety-four. She lost her husband when he was forty-nine and never married after that. She never dated anyone, and scoffed at tries by her family to set her up with any nice gentleman who they thought would be perfect for her. Even though she was a beautiful woman with a way about her befitting royalty, her husband was the only one for her and she lived the last forty-five years of her life by herself.
My other grandmother also lived to be ninety-four and lived the last forty years of her life alone, as her husband died when he was fifty-seven. She also never remarried or dated after her husband died.

I don't know if it's because times were different back then and it wasn't as proper for widows to seek male company or, most probably, my grandmothers had survived so many hardships with their husbands that no other man could possibly replace them as a companion. My mother's parents had worked at farming, which has more than it's share of ups and downs, all their lives, raising six children in the process.
My father's parents had come to this country to start a life and had to endure much prejudice for not being able to speak the language fluently and having different customs. Together they had nine children, only five living past two years of age.

I think there was a different definition of love back when my grandparents were alive. Instead of the happy, warm, glowing feeling that most people associate with the term I think love was making a commitment to someone to stay with them through all the bad times as well as the good. Few people today make that sincere commitment, instead opting for self-fulfillment, and moving on when they are expected to sacrifice part of themselves for their partner or for the union into which they entered. I think the example of both sets of grandparents has had an affect on the lives of my siblings and I. Out of nine children, all of us have been married, with only one divorce among us. Not a bad ratio I think.


Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Dear Tim,

I think our society doesn't really support the values that you speak of anymore -- everything is so fast and it's all instant gratifcation. We've really lost a lot because of it. I'm guessing that your parents and grandparents did affect you and your siblings --only one divorce is a miracle! Thanks for such a sweet and thoughtful post!

9:14 AM  

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