i've never felt "true" love
but i can say that i've seen it before my eyes in the relationship my great grandparents shared. true love, demonstrated by a marriage that withstood nearly 70 years, means loving someone when they don't know who you are in the morning. it means nailing doors and windows shut so that the person you love won't escape at night when they forget who the person in bed next to them is. it means taking care of someone before yourself, putting their every need first before yours. it means even if the person by your side isn't themselves, they're the person you have loved for years and years and even if they're confused most of the time, you're there to silently love and support them. they may not be able to reciprocate that love anymore or be able to appreciate everything you're doing to keep them safe, but you do it. it means visiting them in the nursing home every single day because even if you wanted to keep fighting to keep your love with you at home, it was time to put their care into someone else's hands.
i've heard that real love shows itself in actions rather than just words and i think if my grandparents are anyone to learn from, they certainly did a good job of showing their love wordlessly.
the past couple of months have been especially difficult for our family and it astounds me more and more every day to see how much relationships can withstand and accomplish. love really is capable of conquering all which is how i know that i have barely scratched the surface of what it means in my experiences and the best is undoubtedly yet to come. lately, i've watched in admiration how my parents get through what they do by being together side by side and it's a beautiful thing to see. it may not always be perfect, but if i've learned anything it's that truly, love is a myriad of actions strung together and unconditional support.
i got the call that my great grandmother passed away at 91 years old today. we knew it was coming and we all know it was her time because she wasn't really "living" anymore even if she was there physically. i never realized how unique it was to have four living great grandparents but i feel lucky that in a way, i felt like i had multiple sets of grandparents i got to learn from and form relationships with. to you, grandma, and to the years of memories i have of you and the lives you left your mark on, rest in peace.