For the past 14 days, I have been trying to figure out what I needed to say. Today, it came to me so here it is.
What does 18.75 mean to you? Eighteen and some change? How much weight you have lost? How many gallons of gas in your tank? How fast I can run the 40 yard dash😂?
Today would have been my Nana and Papa’s 18.75 anniversary. I am sure you just looked at your screen like “she is crazy.” But I am
not. You see, it was February 29, 1944, the only day their minister was available. They were married in the living room of my Nana’s childhood home, a ranch house that still stands on Baseline Avenue in Highland, California. A total of thirteen people were present. My Nana wore a suit and a pair of strappy heels (she looked stunning). My Papa wore his Army Service Uniform (and man he was a stud!).
They had the perfect love. I am sure that they argued, but they laughed more. I am sure they disagreed, but they compromised more. I am
sure that they had hard times together, but they were committed to each other. I don‘t know what their secret was. On their 64th wedding anniversary, my Papa was asked what his secret was? While laughing he said “Yes dear.“
My Papa passed in June of 2008. My Nana was heartbroken, we all were heartbroken. My Papa was a man that seemed to be immortal to so many...and then he was gone. In his lifetime he was a self-made businessman, was the Platoon Captain at the Tokyo Embassy when General McArthur signed the Treaty, served as California Transportation Commissoner under Ronald Reagan, campaigned for IKE in a handmade elephant costume, traveled to every continent (except Antartica), climbed the Golden Gate Bridge, stood on the top of the World Trade Center a month before it was attacked, and through all of these adventures my Nana was right their by his side.
On Valentines Day of this year, we got the call that my Nana had passed while sleeping. At 96, she was so tired and so ready. Not only did they get to celebrate Valentines Day reunited and together, but today they celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary.
When I was little I would spend the weekends at their house. My favorite thing to do was to watch a Leonard slide show. I can still hear the click of the slide projector, endless analysis of what they were doing, who they were with and the stories that accompanied the images. Hilarious stories...I might add. I am so thankful for these two people who made me who I am today. If your grandparents are alive today squeeze them a little tighter and listen a little longer, because one day you will be glad you did.
That is what 18.75 means to me.
To a life well lived... I love you Nana & Papa...Now I think you both will be able to rest easy.