These gray hairs do not lie (1)
The first blush of love
Hello there, dear grandchild. Why don’t you come in and take a seat, near me here? Take a load off your feet, won’t you? See how you’ve grown, dear child. Do you remember how we used to cuddle up when you were little and in my house for the weekends? Oh, I miss those days, those days when you were little and your grandmother was your best friend.
Yes, I miss those days, but I also love days like this. You know, with you grown and being able to talk sense with me, for me to be able to have a meaningful conversation with you.
Oh, baby, I can see the glow in your eyes, those emotion spots on your cheeks. And believe you me, your grandmother used to have those too, back in the days. You are in the first blush of love.
How you laugh at your old sentimental grandma? But you are in love, aren’t you? I see the way you look at him when he comes into the room. I see the way your eyes light up when you speak about him. I can hear in your tone of voice that you think the world of this man, this person that will soon become your husband.
I am so happy that you are in love, that you have found the man of your dreams, the one that sends electricity cracking through the room just by looking at you. I was that way with your grandfather too. Those days, there were no phones, so I sometimes had to wait two weeks before having any communication with grandpa. And in those weeks that I didn’t see him or get to talk to him, the anticipation would be overwhelming. And when he walked into the room, my eyes would fill with light.
I see your eyes filling with light every time you see Simon.
But my baby, there is something I have to tell you, and it might not be something you expect to hear from your grandmother right now. But it is something that I have to tell you, something that will be of help to you down the line.
You won’t always feel this way.
Time will get in the way of your emotions. The daily detritus of living will. Children, when they come, will. This white heat of emotion you feel will eventually fade.
Do you know why? Because what you feel right now is not love. It is passion, and when we are young, we usually mistake this for love. And when it fades, we tend to throw the relationship out the window. This is not supposed to be so.
If you allow it to, love is supposed to mature into a decision, not just a feeling.
You are shaking your head. Wait, grandbaby, and listen to me. These gray hairs on my head do not lie. They offer you the truth, just the truth and nothing but the truth.
A time will come; It might be a year after the wedding, and it might be ten years after, but a time will come that you will not see stars and the entire choir of heaven when Simon walks into the room. And this waning of passion will not come from you alone. Simon will feel it too.
And there are so many things that you do not know now.
He might snore; he might not.
He might be a neat room partner; and then he might not.
He might be a perfect gentleman, and then he might not. Because you don’t really know someone until you have lived a while with them. Even then, there are pieces of us that belong to just us, and our husbands and wives might never even access those places.
What I am trying to say that you have to make a decision to love him, whatever surprises he brings to the table. It must become a decision, love has to be.
And what if you fall sick six months into the marriage? What if you lose your figure? What if you become a nagger?
He also has to make a decision to love you whatever you bring to the table.
When I gave birth to your father, and developed life threatening complications, when the doctors did not know if I was going to live or not, grandpa was definitely not in the heat of passion. But our love had matured, had grown into something solid, and we knew we had and could continue to build a live a life together.
So what did Grandpa do? He made a choice to stay with me, to be the rock I needed at that time. And guess what, we made it through.
And there is another story I should tell you. You’ve always been too young to hear it, but I guess you’re not so young anymore. Grandpa had an affair. Yes, he did. And it wasn’t a pretty one. By the time I found out, the affair was already over and Grandpa was in a bad state because she was young and pretty and still had the slim figure I no longer had. There was nobody I hated more in the world than grandpa at that time.
I was a young Christian at that time, and I didn’t want it to seem that I’d failed at my marriage. So I stuck it out, angry and bitter, and resentful that grandpa had even as much as looked at another woman. The turmoil in grandpa’s life finally led him to Christ. And he apologised to me, wept at my feet. Wanted to make everything work.
But I was angry, couldn’t bear for him to even come near me. Until I decided to love him, flaws and all. It wasn’t easy. There were times I didn’t like him or his actions, or was reminded of the pain of his betrayal. But I chose to love him. And after a while, it was no longer a chore to do it.
He was never perfect, and I never became Mrs. Perfect either. But we chose to be together through thick and thin and to be happy together. And you do know we celebrated sixty years of marriage last year.
I pray Simon never strays. I pray you never have to fight for your life. I pray you don’t go through the challenges I did. But guess what Baby, your own challenges will come. You will not always like Simon, but will you choose to love him?
I say it once again; your love has to mature into a decision. Do you understand me now? Has your grandmother made any sense at all?
I love you so much, grandbaby, and I pray that your life is easy and sweet.