June 18th, 2016
I always tell people I was raised by a single mother. My parents divorced when I was young, and every person who I was introduced to thereafter as one of my parents’ significant other just never seemed to click. By the time I was a teenager I had developed a strong opinion about marriage and relationships. What’s the point? I had been surrounded by failed marriages, loveless marriages, and toxic relationships for the better part of my life. So, what’s the point of it all?
I was raised to be independent, to care for myself. And that’s exactly who I became. I don’t exactly plan on getting married, and I hardly ever long to be in a committed relationship – it just isn’t something I need. What’s the point? I can take care of myself: make my own money, go on adventures, treat myself to a nice dinner. But I suppose that this view on life, on love, is pessimistic. It’s unfair to shame the idea of love based on a few bad relationships. Because every once in a while you hear about couples who are celebrating 60 years of love.
My grandparents began helping my mother take care of me when I was six weeks old. I grew up around a lot of bad people who gave love a bad rep, and I often forget that I was surrounded (and still am) by a couple who has so much love that they can’t help but rub it off onto everyone they meet. You wouldn’t believe that there are still good-hearted people in the world. And you probably wouldn’t believe there are people who still believe in their marriage. Yet, my grandparents celebrated 60 years of marriage last week.
It’s so easy to let the darkness cloud over the light. It’s easy to forget all the good when there is so much bad. Last week I fought tears as so many people stood up to thank my grandparents for showing them what true love looks like. What made me teary-eyed wasn’t just the kindness in the hearts of others, but the fact that love isn’t a myth.
My grandfather constantly dotes on my grandmother. He’s always telling sweet stories about her, complimenting her. But he always reminds me that it wasn’t easy – that 60 years is a long time, and that people change. He’s told me that it was hard work, and they shared their fair share of doubts. But yet, he never for one second regrets making it work and finding love at every corner for 60 years. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s been a good ride.
And while I still have my doubts about true love, last week reminded me that it’s not impossible. Not every relationship is doomed, not every love is lost, and no love story is ever easy. I can support myself and live a life on my own, but I suppose if I ever found that passionate kind of love I’d be willing to welcome it in.