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We all want to be someone else at one time or another. Let's face it: we idolize other people. In the US, it's a full time job for some people. We are always checking out the lives of celebrities and national heroes. It seems there is always someone to emulate. Sure, we are happy being ourselves (at least some of us are), yet there is a small piece of each of us that yearns for something more. The next rung on the ladder, the next pinnacle of success. I spend my time trying to work as hard as my mother always has, learn enough to be the kind of therapist I've been lucky enough to work with, and cooking like I'm on the Food Network. Yet my relationships are the most important thing in my life, and I try to put all the former aspirations on the back burner for the one thing that matters most to me: my relationship with my partner. When it comes to that, there is only one relationship I want to emulate: my grandparents.

My mother's parents have been together over fifty years. My grandfather is the only man my grandmother ever dated, ever since she was fifteen. Their relationship astounds me. My grandparents are from Cuba, and in the sixties took my mother and uncle to the United States, leaving the only home they had ever known to flee Castro. They had to start a new life in a completely different country, a place that did not speak their language. They could not take all the trappings of their former life with them: it was not allowed. They took jobs different from the ones they had in Cuba, and embarked on a different life. Yet their relationship remained strong, throughout one of the most challenging situations a human being could ever face.

Only one photo exists of their wedding, and it is a treasure in our family. Black and white, slightly faded, it captures the excitement of the day. My beautiful grandmother on my grandfather's arm: young, in love, and awaiting the life to come. Although I am sure their life today is not what they thought it would be in that moment frozen in time, I have never sensed any regret or bitterness from either of them. The one thing Castro couldn't take was their love. Love for their family, each other, for service to others.

To this day, my grandparents still go on date nights. My grandfather takes my grandmother to a lake with countless swans, to sit with her and watch them go by. Their love is what binds our family. When my grandfather told me that Rob and I reminded him of himself and my grandmother, it was the greatest compliment I have ever been given. He believes we have the kind of love that will last a lifetime, and he would know. In my relationship, I have already seen the kind of commitment and strength that bound my grandparents through the tough times. Yet we are young, and we have a long way to go. If we begin to lose our way someday, I will take his hand and emulate the two people whose relationship will always have my utmost respect. With that kind of example, we could never go astray.


This is my entry for therealljidol. Thanks so much for reading and helping me get this far. Please vote for me if you enjoyed this.

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
chewychicle
Feb. 4th, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
this was lovely to read. as a fellow latino, i have the utmost admiration and respect for the cuban people and what they have been through. it's great to hear that your grandparent's story is a happy one despite the difficulties they've faced. :)
awriterswindow
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:03 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! It is an incredibly difficult history, but my grandparents have made so much of their lives in spite of that.
basric
Feb. 4th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
A gorgeous tribute to two special people in your life,You are luck to have such role models. Told with obvious love. SO VERY WELL DONE. beautifully written
awriterswindow
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. My grandparents are my heroes, truly. I really wanted to be able to write about them, and this was the perfect opportunity. Thanks for reading!
shadowwolf13
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
Aw!! So lovely! Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful story. :)
awriterswindow
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! :) And thank you for reading.
solstice_singer
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
This was a lovely post. Your grandparents sound like really unique, inspirational people.
awriterswindow
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:05 am (UTC)
Thank you. :) They really are amazing.
ecosopher
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
I love hearing stories like this; I can only imagine how proud you were when your grandfather told you your relationship reminded him of theirs.

This was a lovely homage to them and their commitment.
awriterswindow
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:05 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. My grandparents are such amazing people...one can only hope to have a love like theirs.
myrna_bird
Feb. 5th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
How lucky they are to have a granddaughter like you who recognizes their strength and example. Well done.
awriterswindow
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:06 am (UTC)
Thank you! That's so sweet of you to say. Thanks for reading, as always.
hammaboo
Feb. 6th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
They sound like a terrific couple.

I enjoyed this.
awriterswindow
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:06 am (UTC)
Thank you! I am so glad.
mstrobel
Feb. 6th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
That was just beautiful :)
awriterswindow
Feb. 9th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! And thanks for reading.
dreamchaser
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
Your grandparents sound like very inspirational people :)
awriterswindow
Feb. 9th, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
They truly are. They are my heroes. Thanks so much for reading.
phoenixejc
Feb. 6th, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
How sweet! I love love!
awriterswindow
Feb. 9th, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
Thank you! Love is the best!
roina_arwen
Feb. 6th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
Lovely - I wish you and Rob and your grandparents all the best!
imafarmgirl
Feb. 7th, 2011 11:38 am (UTC)
What a beautiful entry and a nice tribute to them.
snarkerdoodle
Feb. 7th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful piece about your grandparents. I wish everyone had such great role models in their lives.
similiesslip
Feb. 8th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
This was so sweet!

I agree that when one marries, how it turns out is often "not what they thought it would be in that moment frozen in time."

I hope your relationship turns out as happy as your grandparents! They sound like very admirable people. It's inspiring to hear of older people who are still in love.

My grandparents have been married over 61 years.
comedychick
Feb. 8th, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
That's beautiful. If only all marriages could be as strong as that.
faerie_spark
Feb. 8th, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
What a lovely tribute to your grandparents. Beautiful that they honour your love, too, recognizing you as a woman.

May you have as many years of love as they have.
lawchicky
Feb. 8th, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
Your grandparents sound so sweet!
nyxocity
Feb. 8th, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is just wonderful! Filled with so much strength and love. I admire them too :)
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )