Wearing: Reformation Kenya Dress
I have been very lucky in the sense that I have always had an overly-loving, older generation of family members on my father's side in my life. These people were a staple in my youth, a foundation in my morals, and were really my idols. In the last 3 weeks I lost the remaining loves, my grandmother, followed by my Pop Pop - a true story of love - and it's sent me for a bit of a trip. No, not in a pity-party sense [though it may seem that by me even writing this]. More of an awareness of being in that part of my life that I don't have these storytellers to continue to teach + guide me.
Many of the things I do in my day-to-day life I always thought of them. Being excited to tell them about a new career path... letting them know that I finally found the love that I've always hoped would come along [one that they would actually approve of]... sharing the joy in family member's new additions + milestones...
It's a change I know we must all go through, but it's bittersweet to have a bit of an ending here in this sense of what family is. Instead of picking up the phone on a Sunday evening to check in, instead, maybe looking up and talking to them. Needing to remember that while I selfishly want them here with me, they need to move on. That I need to graciously follow in the footsteps that they have laid in front of me. I guess it's just more of a realization that I need to start creating things for myself. But first, remembering their beautiful story...
A Love Story.
Their love was one that spanned just under 70 years. Seven decades full of precious memories. Stories that no memory box's delicate bindings could hold safely.
- - -
Phone cords transferring teen love from spoken lips to listening ears.
A delicate pink bow holding together a perfect bouquet of white flowers in a blushing girl's arms.
Postcards and letters that found their way across oceans during war, and tissues that captured stray tears that would form waiting between each delivery.
Aprons splattered from home cooked meals, above the standard of most Italian kitchens.
Sounds of coins clanking together, held safely for tomorrow's, next month's, or next year's desires.
Photos that captured a first child's red hair, curling perfectly around bright, happy eyes.
The laughter, and sometimes tears over scraped knees and elbows, of now two perfect red headed children playing in the yard.
The joy on their faces when their father would walk through the front door after a hard day, joining the rest of the family around the table. Making it all complete.
- - -
Their love was not just between each other, though... no... hearts like these had too much to give for only each other. Their hearts were seen through the simple gesture of open arms towards a beautiful stranger that found the other half of her soul in the eyes of their son. A tall man that was always given acceptance, as they knew he was the one to make their daughter's dreams a reality.
Unconditional love to those four girls that would run towards them when they would enter a room. Helplessly fighting with each other over who would get the most attention, forgetting that they would all be lucky that day. Just attention, you ask? Nah. A day spent with them would be filled with tight hugs, stomach aches following laughing fits, and the sound of velcro strips being pulled apart by tiny fingers. Over, and over again.
- - -
The love these two souls had for each other didn't just make each other lucky, the special love they created for each other set the bar for those who followed in their path. We are the lucky ones. The lucky ones that have two saints watching over us, reminding us to find joy in life's simple moments. The reminder to love each other and those around us, always. The nudge needed when uncertainty arises. The reminder of how important laughter is to keeping one's self young. The reminder that the love and endless support from that other being, who's hand will be intertwined with ours tightly 'til the end, is the most beautiful and special gift on this earth.
This is just Chapter One of many, many more beautiful stories.