Tuesday, May 31, 2011
A Simple Love Story
My days have started to run together. Which isn't an entirely bad thing. In fact I'm not sure it's a bad thing at all. My days have become so full that even the sleep that breaks them up seems to disappear and I am just living in one giant day. In my case, this is a nice change of pace for me. Not only are my days full which makes me feel satisfied and accomplished, they are filled with exactly what I want them to be filled with. Work that I love, friends that I cherish, family I don't take for granted, and smiles that I treasure. I am loving where life is taking me, but just for a second, I wanted to take a time out and make sure that all this magical euphoria was real.
So I took a trip to my favorite place in the world. The Creek House. The Creek House is the name that my three year old self gave to my grandparent's house (my then house as well) when the lot of us all moved in. Now, like many of my "memories" from that time, I don't actually remember the origin of them since I was so small. All I know is, is that the name of the house is The Creek House, and I am credited for it. There is even a plaque by the front door proudly displaying the name. It's just where I know I can go and be me, whoever that may be at that moment, and not have to worry about who is watching me and telling me that I am wrong. I always know that I can go there and find a good old cup of sweet tea, some home cooking, lots of love and sometimes even a glimpse of who I want to be when I re-enter the real world.
The Creek House is about 40 ish minutes away from my house, but it might as well be a world away. In the relatively short drive it takes to get there, I go from a miniature metropolitan area to the cow fields that most people thought didn't exist anymore. The house is on four acres of land, and used to be a functioning orange grove... Tropicana used to come and take (and by take I mean buy) our oranges. But over the years the grove has grown over, but what is left is still as stunning. Trees everywhere, creating this beautiful canopy over the property that just shields it from the rest of the world. Of course there is a creek... I wasn't a stupid child... and that leads out to the river. I spent so many of my days as a kid taking boat rides down that creek and out to the river. But once I got out there I was just happy to turn around. I liked the character of the creek, not the impersonal nature if the big river. I'm pretty sure that if I were any kind of artist I could map out for you every nook and cranny of that creek... that's how often I was out there.
But what I love most about the Creek House are the people who live there. My Poppy and Geema hold a very special place in my heart. They have loved me like there own, and have imparted wisdom to me that I hope to never take for granted. Each trip that I make out there is uniquely different but all so familiar. We eat, talk, pray and laugh together, and then I go back to what most people would deem as reality. It's where I go to center myself again, and to make sure that I still have my head on straight, cause trust me, if it weren't my Pop's would set it straight for me. In love of course.
Speaking of love, my grandparents have basically written the book on the subject. They have been married for half a century and have never betrayed that loyalty. Never have they looked in another direction, and they have always demonstrated not only the happy fuzzy feeling of love, but the lifestyle that love has to become for marriage to work. You don't always have to like each other, but you must always maintain respect for one another. Their story is one that Nicholas Sparks himself couldn't have written better. Geema was the only girl Poppy ever dated, and same with Geema. They fell in love, and stayed together while Poppy went away to architectural school for five years. As soon as he graduated, they eloped, and have been together ever since.
Well it was recently my Geema's birthday and we of course celebrated it with her all in our own way. While I was over at their house I saw the various cards that her kids had sent and the little gifts that we had given her, but there was one card that I did not recognize. So being the nosey little baby of the family that I sometimes am I went over, snatched it up and began to read it. It was from my Poppy. To his sweetheart. It touched me so much that it actually made me cry, and that is a feat. I even had to write it down so that I could write about it on here. Here is what the card said:
To my wife with all my love. Even when I first met you, I knew that somehow you would be the love of my life, and that's exactly what you are. No matter how many years go by, I'll still think of you as the person I want to share everything with. The person I most want to make happy. The one without whom life would never be the same. You are my world, my life, my everything. I love you with all my heart and I always will.
RIGHT?! And if that weren't enough, in Poppy's perfect, architectural block letter handwriting at the very bottom of the card were the words: Love you always and forever, Gene.
The lesson here is simple. Love is exactly what you make it to be. It can be small and pathetic, but if you let it, it can be that Nicholas Sparks, Disney Princess, love for the ages kind of fairytale but in real life. But even in its grander, it can be just as simple as a birthday card to your sweetheart, fifty years after you took your vows, and actually meant them.