Thursday, June 9, 2011

Forever & Ever Amen

(Obvi- this isn't the real cemetery.)
Yesterday was first for me.  One of my customers lost his wife to a terminal illness over the weekend.  I've been doing this for about 4 years, and none of my customers have ever lost a spouse.  I think highly of all of my customers, but this gentleman, with 50+ years of expertise, has my utmost respect & admiration.  He's also just an extremely kind & genuine person, so it absolutely breaks my heart that he's now all alone.  So yesterday, I went by his office to drop off a card & additional treats for his office staff. It should probably be noted that his office is incidentally located directly across from the city's cemetery, & for some oblivious reason, this tidbit never even crossed my mind when I headed there yesterday morning. When I came back outside from the office to get back into my car, I looked across the street, and the burial portion of his wife's funeral was underway.
Side note:  I was told this morning that my customer bought those burial plots years ago- that way he would always be able to watch over her from his office if anything ever happened to her. Might be the sweetest thing I've ever heard.  
I literally stood there with tears in my eyes, frozen like a statue because my heart hurt so badly for this sweet older gentleman who had lost his wife after 53 years of marriage.

53 years of marriage.  What an accomplishment.  Can you imagine how strong of a bond they must have had?  I am in complete awe of people who have been married for such a long duration of time.  Marriage isn't easy, and whoever says that it is needs to be slapped. I kind of feel like married people should get a trophy for every year they are married- I'm actually 110% positive thats why we get a tax break :)
With all joking aside, I take marriage very seriously, most likely because of the example that was set forth by my family.  Both sets of grandparents are the quintessential role models of what the term "for better or for worse" truly means for couples.

Sweet Hazel (& my brother)
My maternal grandparents were married for 55 years before my Grandfather passed away.  My Grandmother absolutely loves to tell me that I was her favorite Anniversary present because I was born on their 49th wedding anniversary (Its July 26th- juuuuust in case you were wondering and/or want to send me a present! Just kidding. Kinda.), and I was their only granddaughter.  Wanna know the best part about their wedding anniversary? They never even had a wedding.  They actually snuck off to get married, and did not tell anyone for TWO years.  Apparently, they wanted to have their house completely built & paid for before they told anyone they were married?  Everytime I've ever quizzed my sweet little (4ft 10 inches) 94 year old bourbon-drinking baptist Grandmother (Hazel) as to why they snuck off to get married to my Granddaddy (who stood tall at 6ft 5 inches) or waited 2 years to tell anyone, she just giggles, and says "Welllll Suga, I just don't know.  I know it seems silly now, but then it seemed like an adventure."  You can't argue with that logic.  I love it.

This is my absolute favorite picture of them- taken @ Churchill Downs.
Lord only knows what he had said to get that look :)
My Paternal Grandparents were married just shy of 52 years.  Their love story is one for the books too.  My Grandfather moved to this small Indiana town from Kentucky, didn't come from much money, but was full of charm & big ideas.  My grandmother came from a pretty well-to-do family, and of course, they didn't approve of my Grandfather.  Not one bit.  Long story short, they got married and had my oldest Uncle when my Grandmother was only 17 years old. My Grandfather was hell bent and determined to win his over his in-laws & make something of himself, and that he did.  Guess who eventually built the most fantastic house that Scottsburg, IN had ever seen?  His charisma and kindness helped those big ideas become a reality, which led to him being wildly successful.  He had this HUGE personality, & was feisty as all get out. (My Dad tells me that I take after him through & through, which is by far the best compliment I could ever receive.) I wholeheartedly believe that my Grandmother's heart literally broke when he passed away because she was never the same after that. After being married for that long, I think it must feel like half of yourself is missing when your spouse passes away.

My parents were married for 32 years.  Yes, I said were.  As in past tense.  I'm not really ready to talk about that whole little road show yet, if ever.  When they divorced, it shook me to my very core.  I never believed in a million years that my parents would divorce.  Everyone knows Pat & Jan AS Pat & Jan.  Obviously, divorce doesn't happen in my family.  It just doesn't.  Side note: Whoever says divorce is easier to deal with as an adult also needs to be slapped.  Hard.  Divorce sucks.  Plain & Simple...   Anyway, It is a long story as to why they felt they needed to go their separate ways, & honestly, its not my story to tell.  Butttt I will tell yall 2 little tidbits about Miss Jan & Big P.......
Number 1- No matter how you look at it, 32 years of marriage is nothing to scoff at.  They went through crazy ups & downs, yet made it through together for a long time.  I truly admire both of my parents for following their hears in trying to figure out what was going to make them happy again.  Number 2- They've been divorced for 3 years now, which still just blows my mind.  However, Big P & Jan are now both happy again in a relationship.  With each other :)  Love always prevails, but I think sometimes you might have to veer off the beaten path to find it again.

Anyway, I always think of my grandparents when I hear this song about loving someone forever-So incredibly sweet. Well, thats it for now yall.  


  1. What incredible love stories! My grandparents have been married 53 years next month. It's so inspiring to watch.

  2. so sad for your customer, but at the same time - he has something strong and happy to look back on. thanks for sharing the stories about your grandparents and parents they definitely brought a smile to my face this morning! my parents were married for 29 years before my dad died and I can't imagine how hard it is for my mom to go through life now without her "partner" and I agree 100% that marriage isn't easy... it takes effort but its definitely worth it in the long run when you have the right person standing next to you.

  3. I have to agree with Heather and say that these are some timeless love stories.

    On another note, I've nominated you for a blog award over on my blog! Enjoy!

    xoxo Tricia

  4. hey girl. thrilled I stumbled upon your blog. I'm following, I hope you will as well. I started my blog a little over 3 months ago after graduating from college in the south and moving across the country to LA. The site's all about celebrity fashion from the point of view of an LA stylist. I'd love if if you'd stop by to see multiple post a day on all the latest celebrity fashion news. Any support would be awesome. Thanks love. xoxo