Last week my grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary! Everyone on my mom’s side of the family gathered in Lexington, Kentucky to help them celebrate. We wanted to let them know how much their commitment to each other has impacted our lives. My mom, her sisters and each of the grandchildren took a few minutes to share with the family a few memories and special moments that we’ve enjoyed over the years with Nana & Papa.
It wasn’t hard for me to choose something to share. I’ve been privileged to spend a lot of time with my grandparents throughout my life. Here are the two things from my grandparent’s marriage that have impacted me:
Their respect and admiration for each other
Nana is the consummate homemaker. She has an incredible talent for creating a home that is warm and inviting. In fact, the thing I heard my cousins say the most about Nana is that she always seems ready for company. Entertaining family in her home is never a chore – she makes it seem effortless. However, the environment in their home is a team effort. Papa doesn’t cook or decorate, but they team up and allow their skills to complement each other. I really can’t describe how well they work together. Nana is always quick to point out a home repair or DIY project that Papa did for her, always with the phrase “He’s such a nice boy!” 🙂
After 60 years it is not uncommon for Papa to complement Nana. They both make an effort to dress up and look nice for each other, which to me demonstrates incredible respect. Papa has a certain noise he makes when Nana enters a room – it sounds kind of like “woooh!” and lets her know she has been noticed!
Their focus on family time
One of my favorite memories from high school is sitting at Nana & Papa’s kitchen table after supper – just the three of us – as they told stories from their lives. I treasure those stories of growing up during and after the Depression, living far away from family as newlyweds while Papa finished his military service – and creating a foundation for a family that would last over 60 years. Papa was always more interested in spending time with Nana or their girls than hanging out with his buddies or relaxing after a hard day of work. Nana found complete satisfaction in a lifetime of being a wife and home maker.
Because of those kitchen table times, I grew up believing that:
- Living on a little bit of money doesn’t equal unhappiness.
- Choosing to enjoy each moment makes each moment enjoyable.
- Every season of life is good – even if there’s heartache to go along with it.
- Honoring God always brings blessing.
- There’s always something to laugh about!
I am eternally grateful for the impact my grandparents have had on my life. We are praying that some day Paul and I can look back over many years of marriage with as much joy as they have!