Current time…12:04 am. Sitting in bed as the cool breeze sneaks through the window’s screen, I find myself scrolling through the many photos that were snapped during this last holiday season. Frozen memories with friends and family safely tucked away in the cloud of my phone. Two pictures catch my attention in a “mind blown” kind of way causing a curious smirk to announce itself. One photo is of me with my Great Uncle Herm and the other with my Great Aunt Betty. These are two amazingly kind and wise souls, true salt of the earth humans. They are both getting up there in age, rockin’ the 90’s.
Anytime I talk to my Aunt Betty she tells me that getting old is for the birds.
My Uncle Herm, that man doesn’t age..I swear he looks the same as he did when he was in his 60’s. He’ll tell you that it’s due to coffee, the man loves a good cup of coffee (guess the coffee bean doesn’t fall to far from the tree).
This past New Year’s Eve I was able to visit my Great Aunt and Uncle, which was the best part of my holiday. My family and I spent the week of Christmas in VA and after I spent New Year’s week with my cousins in Maryland. My cuzzbuzz Julie, her oldest son Berk and I hit D.C. for a day of museums and art galleries. On New Year’s eve, we all went to PA to visit my Aunt and Uncle. They are both pretty sick, so visiting them while I was on the east coast was extremely important to me. Food and great conversation, it was the best day. As my cousins and I gathered our coats, as hugs, kisses and goodbyes were exchanged my Aunt looks at me and nearly made me cry with what she said. “With everything you’ve been through, you have become quite a lovely young woman.”Out of every compliment I’ve been given and any future compliment, that one tops them all because she is one of very few people who knows everything that I’ve been through, she is one of the very few that actually knows the unguarded me.
What my Aunt Betty said to me means everything, I am truly honored to be one of her Hunnybunches. My Uncle Herm also gave his wise advice…”Keep causing trouble and stay away from guys, they’re no good.”
Oh yeah, back to that mind blowing thought, those two amazing humans have been married for 71 years! Holy shit! Talk about an actual life goal. For 71 years those two have created an untouchable life goal filled with family, love and endless memories. You don’t hear of any couple being married for that long these days, heck, these days you’re lucky if your marriage lasts past the first year and why? Honestly, I think that no one wants to ride out storms anymore. You love each other during the golden sunsets, but anytime a storm enters your relationship y’all are way too eager to bail. Part of being in a real, solid relationship is not only holding onto one another during the good times, it’s also about holding onto one another when fighting the storms. With every after calmness of any storm is where you two become stronger.
Falling in love with your partner means falling in love with all of who they are, from the spark in their eyes to the scars hidden underneath the mud. Exchanging those infamous vows, aka promises, means that you’ll always be by their side, within the light…during the darkness and every shade in between.
If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from Betty and Herm Gundrum, it’s that true love means that you never give up on each other. They never gave up and here they are 71 years strong.
I know that we joke about life goals…a concealer that makes you look like you got 8 hours of sleep and had four cups of coffee.. #lifefoal. But, the real life goal is that mind blown kinda love people…71 frickin years, that’s a #lifegoal. I strive to have that kinda love. That’s my life goal.
Both my Great Aunt Betty and Great Uncle Herm have recently passed away. Herm passed April 27th and Betty passed May 6th. As broken as my heart is, the knowledge knowing that they are no longer in pain and are together once again is extremely comforting.
“That ultra kinda love you never walk away from, you’re just the last of the real ones…”