How To Be In Love For 61 Years

How To Be In Love For 61 Years

My grandparents have been married for sixty-one years, and I asked them what the secret was.


According to the American Psychological Association, 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce. I understand that "things happen," but how can 40-50 percent of couples tell their spouse "Until death do us part" on their wedding day, and then change their mind? Two people that have beaten the odds are near and dear to my heart: my grandparents. They have been married for sixty-one years and I wanted to know the secret. Their responses to my questions were amazing and I wanted to share them with you all.

I first asked them how they met. They were high school sweethearts! My grandparents have known each other since freshman year of high school. My grandma said they were good friends for a couple years, and even dated other people. One day, they decided they should date and the rest is history. So technically they have been together for sixty-five years and married sixty-one.

I also asked them what is the hardest part about being married and how they overcome it. My grandma said the hardest part about being married is not a big event, but the everyday. "Everyday is a challenge in itself, but you just have to keep working at it" she says. My grandpa thought there wasn't a hard part about being married, he just takes care of his wife and family everyday so everyone can have a "good life." Their advice for younger generations ties into their "challenges." They both told me that the best thing you can do is to keep working through whatever comes your way and not to give up. "Disputes are going to happen, but just work it out. It takes two to tango," my grandpa says.

The last thing I asked my grandparents was what their favorite thing about each other is. My grandma said my grandpa is a "hard-worker" and is "good-hearted." My grandpa said he couldn't pick just one thing. "Grandma is a wonderful wonderful lady that takes care of me and looks after me" he said.

This interview not only warmed my heart, but made me think about my own life. I'm not saying everyone needs to marry someone from their high school, or you won't be successful if you get a divorce, but my grandparents have a point about "working it out." Whether you are single or in a relationship, I challenge you to "work things out" in your relationships. It is so easy to give up on the people in our lives when something doesn't go our way. But if you keep working on it and not be afraid of the challenges, I think all of our relationships in our lives could blossom.

Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa for being an inspiration to me.

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

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Batter Up

Because someone needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat a woman.


I have this memory from when I was younger,

I must have been six, maybe seven? An age

When you can remember, but not quite

Understand. I remember the landline

Ringing sometime in the middle

Of the night in my grandmother's small,

But adequate house. I had been sleeping,

Tucked under a shield of satin covers,

My grandmother next to me, blanketless,

And stiff, on the very edge of the queen mattress

Like she was anticipating some sort of disaster.

It wasn't the phone that pulled me from my sleep,

It was my grandmother's instant jerk, her eyes

Flipping open quicker than a light switch,

The mattress springing back up, adjusting

To the new lightness as she fled the room. My waking

Was soft like a song. Slow and humane.

My eyes adjusting to the dark, my ears absorbing the ringing,

My mind reminding itself that I was at my grandmother's house.

Then, the ringing stopped;

Abrupt, like a disarmed fire alarm.

It was just a drill, I thought.

But, then I heard the mumbling

From behind the door, panicked mumbling.

Rapid, like gunfire. My grandmother's Rs

Rolling down the hallway and under the door crack.

She only spoke Spanish when she was angry.

The call ended, my grandmother returned to the room,

Wrapped me in a blanket, and carried me into the night.

She buckled me into the backseat of her Toyota and said,

We were going to Auntie Mandy's house because someone

Needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat

A woman.

When we arrived at the house, we found the front door

Wide open, the house lights spilling out onto the porch.

A truck, I had seen once before, was parked a foot away

From the front door, aggressive. The truck had trampled

Over the dandelions and daisies, which lay wounded

In the front yard. A scene that begged for investigation.

My grandmother told me to stay put in my seat.

I watched as she walked to the back of the car, her normally pretty

Face turned straight, looked masculine. I watched as she pulled

Something wooden out of her trunk, then in her feline walk,

Approached the house. She turned to me, and I saw the

Baseball bat, immense in her female hands.

I slouched in my seat, the window above my head.

I never saw her go into the house.

I don't remember how long I sat,

Until the red and blue lights came.

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