In the late 1940's, my paternal grandparents were married. For some reason, their wedding announcement isn't in my genealogy book for that line of my family, but I want to say they married in 1948. They remained married until my grandfather's untimely death at the age of 49 in 1967-seven years before I was born.
I have always known that my dad lost his father when he was only 16 but it wasn't something we ever really talked about. I've also always known that while Grandma never remarried, for the longest time she had a boyfriend. I never met him as we lived on opposite coasts, but she had a lot of stories involving him and she spoke very highly of him-which is not something I can say she did in regards to very many people!
The other night I was at a Meetup event and the subject of wedding dresses came up. I mentioned I have my grandma's wedding dress and it was funny because she said it was well preserved but after she died, I found it balled up in a duffel bag. My friend laughed and asked if my grandparents had remained married saying that if they had gotten divorced, she could see that as a reason to ball up the dress. I replied that they had remained married but my grandma was widowed young.
My grandma was widowed young. Just like me. I never put that together until Friday night-maybe because she died before James. Or maybe because it's hard to picture that she was ever young. She was 46 when Grandpa died. I wish I could have talked to her about it and how she got through it. Because she did get through it. She was a strong, proud, "take no prisoners," formidable woman. And she found love again. I like to think I'm a strong, proud woman too. And now I have hope that just maybe I will find love again someday. Just like her.