This man didn’t always make her light shine brighter. In fact, for many many years, he was an alcoholic. He fell into the Christmas tree, she picked it up and redecorated. They were poor and still he drank. He stepped out to the brothel….she stayed. She forgave. She found herself in one of those marriages that everyone dreams about…..after decades of hard.
They were poor.
They lost a child.
They lived hard.
But they lived.
My Mawmaw prayed for my Poppy to come to Jesus for nearly five decades. He was a recovered alcoholic for the last 40+ years, he worked his whole life, and he was an example of true redemption. Alcoholism can eat a person to death with it’s relentless pull to the bottle. Just one more drink, always just one more.
Her capacity for forgiveness is beyond my comprehension. Why would she forgive him? If we listened to today’s marriage wisdom (when the divorce rate is over 52%), if he wasn’t fulfilling ALL of her needs, well then, they should have just called it quits.
Marriage is hard. They took vows, for better or for worse. Sometimes worse happens. Sometimes people get lost. They do not make you your best self, they do not cheer you on, they do not fulfill you. My Mawmaw had Jesus for that. Sometimes people get depressed and it presents as anger and selfishness, yet they are being swallowed up inside. If we listened to today’s wisdom, we would drop that marriage because it isn’t “healthy” and it doesn’t benefit us. We should always do what makes us happy at all times….right?
I always wondered why she stayed.
As I watched him and her say goodbye this week, I finally realized why she stayed. They took vows. They took them to heart, and if she hadn’t stayed, she would have robbed herself of the miracle.
You see, my Poppy stopped drinking four decades ago. He became a family man. Somewhere around a decade ago, he became the happiest saved man you’ve ever seen. He rejoiced, he told everyone, he prayed and he went to church with her….something she spent 40+ years hoping for. She stayed and she got the husband she always hoped for. She stayed and she got to witness God at work. She stayed and she built a testimony to the power or prayer and devotion. She stayed and built memories as Mawmaw and Poppy, and loved us grandkids with everything they had.
I’m not sure I would have stayed. He wasn’t violent, but still….
She stayed and this week she said goodbye after 60 years together.
In 60 years he was not good for her, I’m sure at times she was not good for him. They saw deep financial hardships, loss of their sweet baby, and so much more that would tear a marriage right in two.
They had hard…..real hard.
But they triumphed.
This week they said goodbye to each other as my grandpa slipped away this morning to go be with Jesus, to wait for her. They said goodbye and thank you for the 60 years, the love, and everyone could feel it permeate the air of that little hospital room.
She loved him.
And he loved her.
So maybe marriage isn’t about how one makes the other feel and if they both feel good all of the time.
Maybe it’s about the love.
Maybe it’s about the vows and keeping your word.
But after watching they way they looked at each other and the way they loved each other….I’m pretty sure it’s about the love. It may not always be shown, said, or felt…but it’s there….and it’s pretty powerful. He was the best Grandpa a person could ever ask for. He walked me down the aisle, he loved me, and I feel blessed to have been able to be a part of their journey because it truly was(is) powerful. This world may have lost one of the very best people to ever have walked it’s surface, but Heaven gained a new joyful resident….and she would tell you that she can’t wait to see him there again.