So this blog is probably going to be pretty… everywhere. I had a very weird day today. I spent every second taking in every piece of information I could handle. This trip is something I’m not taking lightly. My great-grandparents are incredible… I look at those two in awe— the fact that they are my great-grandparents is mind blowing to me. The wisdom they hold and the memories they’ve made is something I could only wish to hear every word of.
Today was only the first day of five, and I don’t know how well my brain is going to be able to handle trying to consume as much information that I can. I know that this trip will more-than-likely be the last time I get to see them. They have pretty much lived out their lives; both being almost mid-90s. They’ve lived full lives. And the fact that they’ve been married to each other for 70 of the 93 they’ve been alive is just… it’s just so, so beautiful to me.
They have an incredible history. Him being in the Navy, receiving many medals— and her being at home with three kids. There was a time when he was missing-in-action and she didn’t know whether or not he was alive for SIX-months. She lived six-months thinking that her husband could be dead. And he spent that time trying to make it back home.
While visiting them today I was looking at some old pictures of great-grandma, specifically. I couldn’t stop myself from staring at a picture of her from when she was probably 20. She was absolutely stunning. To see someone at 20 in pictures, then look at them in the flesh at 92 is extremely humbling. Everything about her appearance may have changed, but based off of what I saw from the pictures, her eyes are still the same. They are still full of light and hope.
Great-grandpa’s appearance has obviously changed extremely also, but damn that guy still jokes around like he’s my brother’s age. I can’t understand how both of them still have such a positive outlook after all of the things they’ve been through. But I also can understand, because what else is there? They still have each other, so why not be happy? Even when there comes a time where one is left without the other, the things they’ll have to look back on will be endless.
I was quiet most of the day— my mom asked me what was wrong a few times. Nothing was wrong, I was just listening. I wanted to take in everything they said and hold onto it for dear life. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life imagining the kind of things I’d learn if I was able to sit down and have one of them tell me their entire life story. I dream of that. So knowing it will never happen, I’m doing my best to take what I can get.
Multiple times while we visited, grandpa would say, “Life goes on, life goes on.” It’s so simple. And it’s so common to hear people say that. But hearing him say that had a different meaning to me. He’s pretty much experienced things no one could imagine, survived, and moved on. And the fact that he’s been able to move on and end up happy at 93 gives me an incredible sense of hope. Life does go on. You can’t stop the world from turning everyday and you won’t get anywhere by allowing yourself to deteriorate in your struggles.
You are strong enough to move on from literally anything life throws your way. In my opinion, life is a mental battle. Everything comes down to whether or not you can push past that barrier in your head that’s stopping you from living. It also comes down to timing. Everyone finds comfort in pain because it doesn’t take any work on your part. But eventually you will grow sick of it and wake up one day with a completely different mindset. No one can do it for you.
I really don’t know what to say about today; or how to put all of my feelings for those two into words. I will say: Don’t take your time with family— or anyone you love— for-granted. Listen to everything they have to say, even if you don’t like it. I swear on my life that something will stick and you’ll find yourself looking back in the future, thankful that you took the time to hear their words. Because whether we like it or not, life does go on. Eventually those people won’t be with you anymore, but if you have the privilege of allowing their words to— don’t hesitate.
I’ve said it many times before but I’ll say it again. Everyone knows something you don’t. So listen. Listen as much as you can in your life. Think about what their words mean to you and use them to your advantage. It’s impossible for us to experience every possible good or bad thing that comes with life— so, when you have the opportunity to learn based off someone else’s experience, it’s a chance you can’t pass up.
I truly apologize if all of this just sounds like babble. I’m posting because it’s necessary for me, but right now I can’t really process everything I’m feeling, so my words are coming out in spurts of different subjects. I hope to be a bit more calm when I write tomorrow night. But thank you, thank you for reading.