My maternal grandparents, John and Bessie May, met as teenagers. In this photo from 1916, they look very much in love. They went on to build a happy life together, welcoming and raising five children. My mother was their fourth living child, and the first to proudly graduate high school.
According to my mother, and from what I observed as a young child, they continued to grow in love and remain happily married. Over the years, my grandmother gained a lot of weight, but my grandfather told her that it didn’t matter to him, because there was “a lot more of her to love.”
In July of 1967, my grandmother died of a stroke. My grandfather passed away a year and a half later (on the 7th of February, 1969), my mother said, of a broken heart.
“May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”
Text and photos copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach