13 Mar

by Leah Johnson

Last week, my grandparents celebrated their sixty-eighth wedding anniversary. Actually, there wasn’t all that much celebrating. Grandpa just announced that ‘on this day sixty-eight years ago, he became the son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Braun.” And that was it.

Someone I know told me that the more anniversaries you have, the more important they become. I don’t think that’s true. How can it be? If you have sixty-seven of anything, then one more is no big deal, right? Besides, last year we made a cake.

And they’re so very old. Grandpa is ninety-six, and Grandma has Alzheimer’s disease and barely remembers anything. There was that Tuesday when she asked about the same picture seven times over dinner, or last Christmas, when Grandpa told us how his mother dedicated him to God at age two and didn’t’ tell him he had to be a minister until age twenty. After those days, I squeeze my dog so tight she makes huffing noises and shuffles her paws.

And then I think, as I watch my old, old grandparents walking through the door; this is the woman who threw a fit on the bus at the racist soldier, this is the man who smuggled Jews from Nazi Germany. They have grown so old, so very very old, but they’re still there. Grandma still asks questions, Grandpa still answers them. And I never feel like I’m lying when I give hugs and tell them that I love them.


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