My dear grandpa, Glendon Johnson, passed away on Sunday, and I was lucky enough to be there by his bed for his final two weeks. It was an incredible time to be near him as he left this world with all the humor, love and kindness that he had lived his life.
(My grandparents walking hand in hand, like they always did. Photo: Erin Stewart)
It was also wonderful to see my grandmother and grandfather together, still just two sweethearts in love after 62 years of marriage. My grandparents have taught me a lot about love and marriage, and this week I noticed three things that I want to have in my own marriage.
First, they still dated each other. My grandparents acted like two kids in love. My grandfather always left love notes on Post-Its on my grandmother’s nightstand if he had to leave early in the morning. They always held hands. They rarely spoke crossly to each other. There was never any doubt they loved each other now even more than when they first fell in love as teenagers.
Second, they doted on each other. Even when my grandfather was on a ventilator in the hospital, my grandmother brought his comb to fix his hair. It was something she’s done all her life to show her love.
And finally, they respected each other. They had their own opinions and talents, but they let each other be their own person. They loved and trusted each other enough to not nag or second-guess.
What it comes down to is love – overflowing, unconditional love. I’m so glad I was able to witness such a love in my life and only hope I can emulate it. My grandparents have had some tragic events in their lives that may have torn a lesser love apart.
But for Grandpa and Nana, their great love buoyed them through this life and will undoubtedly carry them into the next one. In the end, my grandfather clung to this life until his sweetheart whispered, “Goodbye.”
That was all he needed to hear.
What examples of true love do you have in your life?
Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.