We had a party for Grandma and Grandpa. All of their surviving brothers and sisters showed up, along with some of their kids (my dad's cousins) and some of their kids (my second cousins?). All told, there were about 60 people there; most of them beyond the age of 65. And let me tell you - it was one loud party! There was more laughing and carrying on than I expected from a bunch of
My grandparents are doing well. They are still living in the the same house that I always remember them in growing up. Sure they are slowing down and have the aches and pains that show up when you are over 80. They don't move as fast as the used to and they don't always remember things as clearly but that's all expected. My grandpa is still pretty active in the gardens and in the workshop. A short while ago he built a grandfather clock - that's not something a lot of people can do when they are his age.
I'm sure things weren't always roses and butterflies for my grandparents. My dad talks of his childhood as a childhood without much money or conveniences. Grandpa built houses for a living- not an easy job. But the marriage survived. They survived six children and nine grandchildren. They survived their kids leaving their community. They survived floods and droughts and Manitoba mosquitoes. They still laugh together, cry together and love together.
When something like 50% of all marriages these days end in divorce, it's a blessing to have a legacy of love, friendship and commitment in the family. I pray and hope I have their genes.