Sunday, January 1, 2006

Jan. 1, 2006: True Love

I could listen to Grandpa's stories all night. It's all interesting: riding on horseback to his one-room school ....growing up poor in the Ozarks....quitting school in 7th grade to work at the A&P.... I love it all. But nothing touches me like his love for the dark-haired beauty, Alice Rose.
Grandpa is actually my husband's grandfather, but he's been a grandfather to me for 17 years. My own grandfathers both died before I was 10 years old, and I believe I loved Randy's Grandpa the moment I met him. He is a precious man.
At 93 he is well aware of the limited time he has left in this world. Alice Rose, the love of his life, passed away 9 years ago. It has all been a waiting game since then. He is waiting for the day when he can join his Alice again. New Year's Eve he again shared with us the story of his life. I love all of it, but nothing touches me like his love of Alice. I can hardly keep the tears wiped off my cheeks when I hear him say, "We had a good life then." Here is Alice in the black-and-white pictures: simply beautiful, and so haunted.

I know what comes later. I know Alice suffered from severe depression most of her adult life and from Alzheimers the last decade. But then, back then in 1934, there was just a young man not unlike Jimmy Stewart and a girl who looked like she stepped off the boat straight from Italy. (In fact, Alice had not a drop of Italian in her, but there was something Mediterranean about her, something mysterious and cultured. You would expect the girl in the wedding photos to speak with a thick foreign accent.) In 1934 there was endless possibility, a snug house and a good job at the A&P.

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