Sunday, February 8, 2009

High School Sweethearts: Grammy & Pop

Grammy's Version: We grew up in the same small Kansas town and I remember the day I fell in love with Pop. I was in the fifth grade and he in the sixth. I had seen him before and knew who he was but one day as I met him on the stairs at school (for some reason it was just the two of us – we must have been running errands for our teachers), I saw him for the first time as someone I loved. I awkwardly said, “Hi” and he nodded. I was deeply impacted. I can still see the sunlight streaming in the window and highlighting his blond hair, blue eyes, and strong shape. We didn’t date until high school but God planted something in my heart that day I didn’t quite understand. I didn’t chase after him or stake any claims; but I was filled with a sense of assurance in the way I felt about him. We married while we were still in high school and 32 years, four children, and eight grandchildren later, I love him more than ever. There has never been another man I have loved as deeply and I know there will never be another I love so much.

For Pop's most recent birthday, I came up with one reason for every year of his life that I love him and I can honestly say it wasn't much of a challenge. There are things he does for me because he knows I like them - no other reason at all - just because I like them. Wow.

Even in our worst times I have known I can count on him to love God and love family - even if he didn't like me so much at the time. Just knowing that goes a long way in working through the hard times. I remember when we were really, really young (not kidding - really young) and were newly married...we talked about growing old together...about having a home intact where our children could come and bring our grandchildren too. I think God puts that in the hearts of His children and if we let Him, He brings it all to reality. There have been times I wasn't sure of myself or sure that we could do it but I've always known that God can and that's enough.

I would say that Pop never makes me crazy but that would be is interesting though that the things I least understand about him are some of the things I love the most. He is truly passionate about things and his passion is often so intense that it unnerves me a is so different than how passion looks on me. He is driven and self-motivated to work hard and play hard and plan ahead. In so many ways, we are complete opposites; yet somehow it works perfectly. Oh, we have had struggles along the way trying to make sense of each other and God has used those struggles to grown us in grace.

Pop's Version: Grammy and I are truly small town sweethearts. I grew up playing with her brothers and have known her since we were literally children in elementary school. Ours is an unlikely story of young love that has lasted over 30 years and still growing.

I remember Grammy when we were 10 or so years old. She was my buddy’s sister and was often around when we were playing ball. She was cute and athletic but I was much too interested in playing sports to pay much attention to any girl. About the time I got interested in girls, Grammy became a life guard at the small town swimming pool. She was blonde, tan and beautiful. I remember going to the pool and just staring at her up there in the life guard chair. She has always made my heart beat faster and I am hopelessly drawn to her.

We dated in high school and I fell completely in love with Grammy. I was young, selfish and immature but I knew one thing for sure! I loved this girl!! She has always enhanced my life and never been a source of diminishment. She makes me secure, confident, and brave. At one point in our life at a very young age we had to make a decision about the rest of our life. We had to decide to either hold hands and take on the world or listen to others and let each other go. I offered my hand and Grammy took it. The rest as they say is history!!

I remember we only bought wedding bands because it was all we could afford. My brother married us in Grammy’s home because it was another time and getting married in a church would have been difficult. I look back at the pictures and understand the doubt and fear felt by those who loved us. We looked our age and certainly would not have inspired confidence in anyone. I realize now we had two things in our favor; we really loved each other and God is faithful.

It has been a wonderful 32 years. While there have been hard times, it has been a wonderful ride. I can still get lost in those beautiful brown eyes, and God has blessed me with the perfect partner. As surprising as this may sound, Grammy is not perfect but she is perfect for me. Over the years I have grown to appreciate her heart for God and family. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me in this life and in a very real sense she probably rescued me from a life of regret. I am so very glad she took my hand all those many years ago!!

Ok, now as directed, a few of the little things that drive me nuts. It makes me crazy when Grammy does the startle response thing (you know, when someone sucks in air and makes that desperate sound like you are getting ready to be killed in a horrible car accident). Grammy has been known to cause whip lash in my neck as I snap my head around trying to find the emergency. It makes me crazy when Grammy starts major renovation projects at 10 O’clock at night. It seems she never finds inspiration for projects at a decent hour. She occasionally stays up half the night working on a project and then she sneaks into bed and invariably puts her cold feet on me. Even as I write this, a smile is working its way into the corner of my mouth. I realize even the things she does that make me crazy, have somehow become a part of my fascination with her. I am totally and completely taken with Grammy. My love for her is deep and strong. She is my Great Love!!!


  1. This was awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your love story with us. :) This will be a fun week. I love you both very much.

  2. Thanks for sharing and more importantly for committing to the covenant of marriage. May God truly bless you as you continue His work in your lives.

  3. I love your story, thanks for sharing. That startle response thing is actually a trait which is passed down to females only. Kind of like the "selective hearing thing" is only passed down to males.
    Seriously, you are a blessing and example for us.

  4. You guys are such a great example to us! Thanks for loving each other and always sticking it out, even when things got tough! You have shown us what commitment and affection looks like! We love you!

  5. Pop, just be glad that we aren't all in your car these days...we all do the startle sound!