A friend of ours, Sara Thompson, once showed me a sort of tribute she wrote to her grandparents, Earl and Ruby Thompson. (She called them Pawpaw and Mawmaw.) Sadly, Earl had died in May of that year, leaving behind his wife of nearly 65 years as well as six children, 17 grandkids, and who knows how many great-grandchildren.

As their anniversary approached that year, Sara thought of her grandmother, alone for the first time in 65 years. Here’s what Sara wrote on her Facebook page:

Sixty-five years later …

Sixty-five years ago this Thursday, two incredibly young teenagers went to the county courthouse and got married after only knowing each other a brief couple of months. What might come across as impulsive and risky, God used as the beginning of a marriage exemplifying commitment, perseverance, and love. Six kids, 17 grandkids, and even more great-grandkids and so on—those numbers do not even begin to describe the lives they shared together or the way they perfectly complemented one another.

This Thursday is going to be emotionally difficult as my grandmother spends it without my grandfather, who passed away in May. I am not sure any of us are used to him gone and I still feel the hole his absence brings. But I know that does not even begin to compare with the sense of loss she feels every day when she looks over to his empty chair.

While I can only pray for peace that day for her, I am so thankful for the example they set. I admire what they had and I am grateful for proof that two people can love each other for an entire lifetime, loyally supporting each other through all the highlights as well as the hardships of life. They serve as a reminder that true love does exist and that commitment is possible. I would only consider myself blessed to find what they found so long ago … and just as God brought them together, I know His comfort is the only thing able to ease her hurt.

To be absent in body is to be present with the Lord.  I look forward to seeing my grandfather again in heaven …

If you need any proof that there is great power in a lasting marriage, you’ll find it in Sara’s words: “I am grateful for proof that two people can love each other for an entire lifetime.”  A lasting marriage provides stability and security in a family; it speaks of the power of commitment and forgiveness and faith.

Through your marriage, you can leave a legacy that influences the generations to come.

Copyright © 2007 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.