Monday, February 14, 2011

National Red and Pink Day

Seriously, half the people on campus are wearing red or pink today, and some are wearing both.

Good things:
People are randomly handing out long-stemmed roses like they're going out of style.
It's a lovely day - sixty degree weather that reallty makes me wish I'd put on a dress this morning . . . but
     not a red or pink one.  If you're not firmly convinced Texas has the craziest weather in the world yet,
     check out the post I wrote four days ago compared to this one and then check back next week.
Finally found peppermint tea on campus . . . and apparently started a trend in the Starbucks line.
A story and two poems have come flying at me out of the middle of nowhere in the last week - right when I
     was feeling devoid of ideas.

Now, on to what I really want to say.  For the last several years, the whole drama of being single on Valentine's Day has really bothered me.  The fact is, the people who complain most about it are the young ones like me who have their whole lives stretching out like a broad road in front of them.  It's one day out of the year and people make such a big deal out of it without looking at the bigger picture.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a young woman who fell madly in love with an older man in the army.  She was 15 and he was 22.  This was during World War 2 and eventually, he was told he was going to be shipped off to Germany soon.  She refused to let him leave the country without her.  Somehow she convinced the Justice of the Peace that she was sixteen and left America in a steamship bound for Germany with her new husband two weeks before her 16th birthday.  She never looked back and never regretted her choice.  They lived happily together above a saurkraut shop and didn't learn much German, but they took enough black and white pictures to fill up a small red-patterned "Fox Photo" album.  She gave birth to her first child in Germany and then they moved back to Houston, where they had their next four children and became pillars in their community.

That young woman and the man she left everything behind for were my grandparents.

I have never seen any couple love each other like those two did.  They taught me everything there is to learn about loving someone no matter what.  It was obvious to all of our family that they loved each other in every word, deed, and look that passed between them.

Today would have been their wedding anniversary.
But Grandma lost Grandpa four years ago.

Thinking about the way she hurts today makes me upset at people like me who can complain about their singleness.  So go love on someone like my grandma today and take the time to realize and bask in the things in your life that do bring you love and consistency.  I've found mine:

Grandma’s House

Those porch chairs have always been the same green.
Stationed under the patio cover,
They never fail to greet me in the spring.

So many memories that front porch brings –
drinking hot tea with friends from all over.
Those porch chairs have always been the same green

The glass door, also, has always been green.
There, Grandma and Grandpa always hovered.
They never failed to greet me in the spring.

Then, together, we did our favorite thing –
Grabbed our swimsuits and ran for the river.
Those porch chairs have always been the same green.

The woods around the river were a screen
that hid our secret world by the water.
They never failed to greet me in the spring.

I couldn’t come on that day in late spring
when Grandma buried Grandpa, her lover,
but the porch chairs will always be that green.
They never fail to greet me in the spring.

1 comment:

  1. love it. love you. my heart. thank you for sharing.


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