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I've been thinking about how to write about something so precious as love. And my beautiful grandparents can tell the story through theirs.

They met. They fell in love . She picked him up in a pretty dress and said" let's go to Iowa today and get married". And they did. They, like many other couples back then, were forbidden to marry as he was catholic and she, Lutheran. 

They had 5 children. They had a farm and my grandfather worked at Banta for years. 
I grew up going there every single weekend. As I got older,  I continued to keep them a huge part of my life. 

Im not sure how to describe something so dear. or how to tell you how important they were. 
Words haven't been able to come together. 
Sentences never seem to form. 
I think about their life and how it formed mine. I think of the love they shared. It wasn't the usual story book kind of love- pretty and respectful and fantasy-like. It was raw and Aggressive and completely real.
They fought, and yelled, and held hands at the tAble. They nuzzled each other, made fun of each other and grabbed each other inappropriately.  She hit him with a fly swatter when he acted up. She told her often he wanted to trade her in for a newer model. They fought over cookies and coffee and who's turn it was to start the stove for hot wAter. 
But you could see it always. 
The love. 
The faith. 
The emotions. 
They were ultimately so in love-to the point where they seemed lost if the other wasn't there. They laughed at each other always. I would catch her looking at him, just staring at him, shaking her head. And so proud. Of me and every single other family member. She made all of us feel like we were the favorite.
 
I shared my faith with them. We went to church together and that's were most of my blogs funny stories cAme from. Even if your religion was different then mine or you have none at all, it was easy to appreciate the stories and even easier for me to talk about God because of them. 

And my heartache is there. Like nothing I've ever felt before. Everything else in my life seems not as important. Or maybe it really is just more important. Clarification has taken the stage and all These little things that I was holding and that I thought were so big - they are gone. Feelings have changed immensely in me. Some have gone away and some have strengthened. I have also taken note of myself and have had more than one conversation with myself about my past, present and future. 
I've taken some major steps in having a more honest, communicative, positive and meaningful life. 
Im getting rid of obligations that aren't mine to carry. 
And I'm smiling much more. 
I've never felt more content with my insides as an adult. And that's the gift they left me. Love, faith, clarification and the right to believe in myself, as they always did. I am like them. I am not the usual.  

Oh Gram - She taught me to love God, be forgiving and always remember who you and where you are going. 
If you've been in my house, it's a jungle, like hers. Her love of plants has rubbed off. 
She was an amazing cook and I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it too. 
She loved wine and I KNOW I'm VERY good at that...she also sent cards and handwritten notes all the time and I do as well. There is something amazing about getting a handwritten card or letter in the mail. I love it so I try to do that with fam and friends. 
Throughout the last 15 years i have been sending my grandparents post cards from every trip i have been on. I have already found over 60 as we clean out the house. I know she loved living through my travels and always loved to read the postcards to gramps and anyone else who would listen. I love a sunrise and sunset and try to see them both on a daily basis and have woken up more then one person and dragged them out to see it. My gram loved watching them too. And she could forecast the next days weather by what the sunset looked like. 
My gramps was one of a kind. He loved me . I knew that. He told me all the time. He always had a soft spot in my heart. I will never forget dancing with him so many times, his hand on my back and a smile on his face. I won't forget his love of stealing spoons everywhere he went as we still find them everywhere around the house. 

My faith has continued to be the light to see me through terrible times. 
And then its been there as comfort in amazing times.
I love them. More than I've ever loved anything else. They were the only sure thing I've ever had. The only thing I knew was always there. Unconditional love is real. They showed it to me every single day. And they were so proud. I was never embarrassed to speak of my successes or my life. 

They have touched my life in every facet. My traveling- I always send postcards. 
When I speak at wine events, I always started with a story about them and finished with one too. 
Most Sundays I would go to church and go after for cookies and that awful instant coffee. I thought about them during the week and would talk to them often. I never realized how much they were intertwined until they are now gone. 
And that's because of most of you. 
Since that awful night I have received so much support. I've gotten almost 50 cards and they still come in the mail. 100s of Facebook posts and inbox messages. Tons of emails and texts and phone calls. Some of you added to my Jungle by sending flowers or plants to my house or the church. Some of you sent money which I donated to the church's new building fund. Some people came to the funeral to support my family and listened to a lovely service. My job was so supportive and gave me time off and I had 2 full pews of support. Wineries from California sent flowers and wine (thank you and yes I already drank it all). Other families sent food to our homes knowing we weren't thinking of cooking and didn't have time or the effort. Some of my customers bought food, sent flowers and sent out company emails to make staff aware. People who didn't even know me well, have sent cards and showed their condolences. A wonderful man I've met through wine events showed up at the funeral to meet them as he'd heard so many stories through me. How amazing. 
  Then there was My closest friends and loved ones.  Who were just there.  All the time.  And I wasn't easy or pleasant I'm sure. 
I am so overwhelmed by everyone's love and support. It makes me weep. It gave me peace. it restored my faith in people and what we can look forward to in a time of need. I have no idea why I deserve it but what I can say is its them. My grandparents. Their love has shone through. You all see it in my writings and in MY posts. That kind of effect is mind blowing. I'm humbled still. Thank you so much 

And my life will move forward with the millions of memories I have. They will make me laugh, cry and smile. I was so blessed to be a part of their love story.
Their life did end with the most classic Romeo and Juliet love story....leaving this world just 25 minutes apart. They couldn't live without each other here in the world and their was no way they wanted to find out what life was like in heaven without each other. Their heaven WAS each other. 


 


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