G & P,

50 years. Five decades. Think about all of the things that have changed in 50 years: the president, technology, medical advancements, education, style. One thing has remained the same through all of these many changes ... the love between my grandparents. This weekend my grandparents will celebrate their 50 years together. It is hard to believe that long before I existed on this Earth, before my parents were even a thought in anyone's mind, my Grandpa Clint and Grandma Patty had already begun their journey through life together. It is not every day that we see this kind of love in our world.

In a time where divorce, separation and affairs are not uncommon, there are those few people who have stuck to the vows which they made to each other from the beginning. Life has not always been easy for the two of them, but between my grandfather’s positive attitude and fun-loving personality, and my grandma’s ability to work hard and provide selfless love and care to her family, they have managed to stick things out through both good and bad. I am proud to say I have such amazing grandparents to look up to, and to guide my expectations and values in my own personal relationships. Though times may be different, and trends may have faded, the love my grandparents provide to my family will always be the same.

This is something I think all millennials should strive for in their relationships today. There is a mentality that relationships don’t have to, and even shouldn’t have to, last long. Rather than sticking it out through a hard time or situation, it has become normalized to simply throw in the towel. People strive to find a love that requires no work; one that is “meant to be”. The ideals we see on social media, television, and magazines of perfect couples rarely exist in real life. Since there are so many options in the dating pool between work, school, dating websites, etc. it is often thought by many people that they must continue searching until they find someone with no flaws or imperfections.

Things like Tinder have given us the ability to swipe yes or no; to judge someone for compatibility immediately based on their physical features and looks. With so many options how will you find “the one”? We should resort back to the old mentality of relationships and learn how to stick things out through the good and the bad, take the time to really get to know someone and their personality before “swiping left” on them.

To all of the married couples celebrating years upon years together: I believe you deserve to be recognized. It is not every day you come across a couple who has honored their promise of “till death do us part”, and I think that should be honored. So, to my grandparents on their special day I wish you many more years of happiness, love, and joy surrounded by a family who loves you so very much. Thank you for the 50 years of support, guidance, care, and laughs you have provided; thank you for building a foundation for our family to grow upon.

Love,

Carli