My grandmother loved 2 men equally and died without knowing which she'd choose to be with once they reunited in heaven

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

My grandmother was a woman who loved with all of her heart. She had two loves in her life, and she cherished them equally. Even though they were both special to her, she knew she could never make a choice between them.

My grandmother always told me a lot of entertaining stories when I was growing up. She barely spoke English, and I barely spoke Portuguese, but somehow, she always got her point across.

When my grandmother was a young teen living in the Azores, she fell in love with a handsome young local named Peter. She was just thirteen years old at the time: Peter was nineteen. Peter told my great-grandmother that he wanted to marry my grandmother as soon as she was old enough to marry.

Peter's brother was married to my grandmother's older sister. So they were able to see each other during family gatherings and visits to each others' homes.

According to my grandmother, they shared a few hugs and pecks on the cheek, but that was all. "He was very handsome, and all the girls in the village wanted him," my grandmother once told me, "but he was waiting for me."

Then one day, Peter fell ill. He was very sick from battling a bout with pneumonia without medication. The young man was bedridden for weeks.

His mother wanted to do something to cheer him up, so she sent for my grandmother to visit him.

My grandmother arrived in time to see Peter on his deathbed. They held hands during their visit, but they didn't speak. Peter was too weak, and my grandmother didn't know what to say.

After my grandmother went home, Peter passed away.

My grandmother met the man who would become my grandmother several years later. She loved him with reckless abandon, but he never took the place of her beloved Peter.

My grandmother always told us that she loved my grandfather and Peter equally. She worried about what would happen when she died and went to heaven. What if both of them were waiting for her when she walked through the pearly gates? What if St. Peter asked her to choose?

Would she choose my grandfather to whom she'd been married for half a century and raised a family, or would she choose Peter, the man whom she'd loved just as much but never had a chance to really know?

In the end, she died without ever knowing which one she would choose to be with when they reunited in heaven. That bittersweet thought often crosses my mind as I remember her. My grandmother was a strong and wise woman who valued the two men in her life, and I am hopeful that they will reunite in heaven and share her love together for eternity.

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Ordained Minister, Universal Life Church

Massachusetts State

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