An ancestral love story

I wrote yesterday a little about my grandparents’
advice for keeping a marriage
strong
over half a century. They also told me their love story, something I
don’t think I’d ever heard before.

When my grandmother (I call her Nana—pronounced NAH-nuh) was a very young
woman, she was engaged to be married to a young man who died in a hunting accident
before they married. She lived with her parents at the time, but their house
was some distance away from the nearest town, making the commute to her job
at the county clerk’s office quite difficult. Her parents inquired of friends
whether a place existed in town
where she might lodge. They finally found a place run by a kind elderly lady
who
rented rooms and provided two meals a day. When Nana moved into the house,
the lady said, "You should meet my grandson. I think you’d like him." Still
recovering from the death of her fiance, Nana declined and went about her
life.

The woman’s grandson (my grandfather) had recently returned home from Europe,
where he served in the U.S. Army during WWII. He was living in a hotel near
his grandmother’s
house and working for an electric company. The company paid the rent for several
of their employees who lived in the hotel. One day he told his buddies he needed
to go visit his grandmother. On his visit, he met my Nana and immediately asked
her out to a movie. She accepted. Neither of them owned a car, so they walked
together to the movie theater on a route that took them past the hotel where
he lived. Later that evening his friends asked him if he had any more "grandmothers,"
because they sure liked the look of the one he was walking with.

Anyway, he immediately
became smitten with her and asked her out again for the next evening.
She accepted
again. They met and went out on 13 of the next 14 days. On the 14th day,
she had a date with another young man. After that, though, she didn’t date
anyone else. They met, became engaged, and married in the months between Nana’s
March birthday and Thanksgiving. That’s a whirlwind courtship
in my book, but you can’t argue
with 57 years of love that has only grown stronger.

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