Friday, April 8, 2011

70 years!

Tomorrow is my grandparents-in-law 70th anniversary party.  70 years!  I can't believe that.  I can't imagine even being alive for 70 years, let alone being married to one person that long.  But they really are one person now.  I am not sure if one can exist without the other.  My mother in law had a large party for their 65th anniversary.  They had just moved to Indiana at that point.  Tomorrow is just a small afternoon tea.  Grandma isn't doing well and has dementia and Grandpa has more physical ailments.  He has reminded me many times that he wishes I had met Grandma when she was more herself.  A small tea will be perfect for the occassion.  I keep wondering why this is such a big deal to me.  It is because they are my grandparents now too.  I grew up being very close to my grandma.  She lived with our family nearly my entire childhood.  Her presence was one of my greatest presents from my parents.  I was 19 when she died.  My grandfathers died years ago, one before I was born.  My other grandma died 3 years ago.  So Charlie's grandparents are now the only grandparents I have.  That is a big deal to me. 

They had 2 children (my mother in law and her brother), 5 grandchildren and now 4 great grandchildren.  Unfortunately, only our family and my mother and father in law will be there.  I wish more family (the cousins) would come.  But I understand.  They are scattered across the country and we are nearby.  I don't know when the last time the cousins visited them.  If it were my grandparents and we were across the country, would we come?  I would like to think we would.  My mom reminded me that I didn't visit my grandma very much near the end.  We visited in 2006.  She had dementia pretty bad then.  It is a 6 or 7 hour drive from our house.  Excuses.  But Charlie had never met her and I wanted to make the trip.  It was a short visit and she repeated the same stories over and over.  But it was important that we do that.  It was important to me.  I remember when each of my nieces and nephews were born, my brother and sister would drive with their infants to Iowa to "present" the great grandchild.  I never got to present mine.  My daughter attended her funeral.  

70 years is a big deal.  It's important to me that we celebrate with them.  It's important to me that we take my children to visit their great grandparents.  They only have two.  So I will dress them up and take lots of pictures.  Not for the great grandparents.  Not for the great grandchildren.  But for me.  Without our grandparents, there would be no me or you.  

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