It was late at night and everyone else was asleep. She crawled out of her bedroom window to meet her boyfriend. She was 16. He was 26. They drove to the next town and got married. It was crazy. It was reckless. It made her mama really mad. I didn’t know them at their start, but I was there 60 years later when they were parted by death.
That girl was my grandmother. It always amazes me that the statuesque lady I knew did something insanely rebellious like elope at the age of 16. It’s hard to picture that classy woman climbing out of a bedroom window. Did my Papa catch her? Did they squelch giggles and run hand in hand to the old truck? What did she wear?
However it went down that first crazy night, here I am because of them!! They stuck it out and made it last. They built a family and left a legacy.
Fast forward around 80 years from their elopement and you’ll find me, their granddaughter, three years ago today…
It was crazy. It was reckless. It made some people mad. But we’re still here!!
That sixteen year old girl grew into a major hero in my life. I’ve always wanted, and tried, to be like her. I’m most flattered when someone says I am like her in some way. I know she had a daring side. She crawled out of a window at sixteen for Pete’s sake. She knew about taking a risk, she no doubt felt the passion and swirled in the vortex of a crazy attraction. But she also knew commitment. She knew how to stand her ground through life’s ups and downs. She knew her God and called on His name for her family.
And guess what? I do, too.
We may not get the sixty years they had. (We started a little later than they did!) But we have the same kind of love and the same determination and most of all we know the same God. We’ve crammed a lot of stuff into three years. A surprise baby, two moves, serious illness, financial disaster, parenting a teenager and toddler simultaneously, wrestling with our faith and hosting a church in our home. We definitely did not take the easy way. Sometimes we feel like giving up. But we won’t do that. We’ll hang onto the crazy, reckless, passionate love that started all this. We’ll look to God and keep going.
It’s definitely not the wedding that matters. (Even though I thought a crazy elopement was tons of fun!) It’s the marriage. And marriage is what we are living every day. Three years down, many more to go.by