This I Believe

Julia - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on February 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I come to tears every time I speak to my Grandparents on the phone. They are ninety-one and ninety-two. I often fear the day when their willpower may be too weak to combat their resistant aging bodies. My grandparents have always been strong willed. After over 70 years of marriage they are host to much wisdom and pride. When my grandparents stand together they melt to one. Grandma Elowese is four feet eight inches tall; she stands with her head at a perpetual upward gaze. This posture has caused her back and shoulders to become twisted and shifted to one side. Ray, my Grandfather, an actual six foot two inches is permanently hunched down to achieve a compromising level of five foot six inches tall. Their bodies, like two aging trees, twist their roots around one another creating a common trunk. Years of companionship have physically warped their posture to accommodate one another. When they are not together they fall apart, physically and emotionally. This is love so deep it is needed for sheer survival. Through them, I believe that eternal love is possible.

He adores her. I see it when I catch my Grandpa watching her. This is the look I craved to see within my own parents as a child. After years of failed separation, my own parents divorced when I was eleven years old. Many young adults of my generation are also products of less ideal, divorced, family conditions. As children we learned to adjust to the imposed family conditions and continued with a struggled normalcy, appearing impervious. However, now as we come of age, we face our own relationships carrying the broken image of our own families. I have feared that a family was unattainable in my own life. I sought to resolve my negative outlook by decoding the demise of my own parents’ marriage. I revisited the fragmented memories of my parents’ marriage and inquired when and how things went astray. I was finally able to overcome my need for answers about my parent’s marriage when I meet my own companion, Brendan. Brendan assures me, “they are not you,” and he was right. In the end the answer didn’t matter. Their failure did not debilitate my ability to have my own successful relationship. My grandparents live for each other, and like them, I seek an eternal companion. Eternal love is not realized upon a wedding day, it is achieved through years of focused dedication to one another. Brendan and I are growing roots to support an enduring future together. I have seen eternal love and believe that it is within my reach.