*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a woman who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
My grandparents had such a wholesome relationship. They were deeply in love for over fifty years until my grandfather died. My grandmother loved everything about him, from the smell of his cherry tobacco to the way his jacket moved when he walked. After he died, she was never the same.
My grandmother was always madly in love with my grandfather, but one thing that stood out in my mother's mind from her childhood was that when my grandfather walked down the street to the local bakery, my grandmother would go to the window to watch him walk away.
He had this one suit jacket he wore on Sundays. The back panel of the suit jacket had two slits in it, and my grandmother loved how the flap of his jacket bobbed up and down when he walked.
"I have never felt that way about an article of clothing your father wore," my mother told me. "Does this mean I have never been truly in love? Maybe I just haven't found the right man yet."
My parents have been married for over fifty years, over sixty years, in fact. So if she doesn't think he's the right man, then she might be running out of time.
"The love my mother had for my father was amazing," she told me. "It was inspiring to see how much in love they were right up until the end. If I ever find a love like that, I'll have to make sure he wears a suit jacket to see if it does something for me." My mother laughed.
"If the flap works, then I'll know he's Mr. Right," my mother said. "As for your grandmother, your grandfather could be wearing any jacket, and I think she would have loved to see him walking in it."
My grandparents had such a strong and beautiful relationship that it has inspired my parents to stay together for over half a century. Even though my mother jokes about my grandfather's suit jacket and finding Mr. Right, she knows that the key to a lasting relationship is finding someone who you can be madly in love with. If you ever find a love like that, hold onto it tight. It's a rare and special thing.
My grandfather always used to say that the key to a happy relationship is communication. He would tell me that it was important to never go to bed angry and to always listen to your partner. I think these are sage words of advice that can apply to any relationship.
It is so important to cherish your loved ones while they are still here with you. Life is precious and fragile, and we never know when our time will come. So take the time to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Don't wait until it's too late.
My grandmother died a few years ago, and I still miss her dearly. She was such an amazing woman with so much wisdom and love to give. Even though she is gone, I know that she is always with me in spirit. Whenever I need her, I just have to close my eyes and think of her loving smile. Thank you for everything, grandma. I love you always.