On this Thankful Thursday, I am sending out a very special “thanks.” My grandparents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary! We had a little get together for them on Sunday at one of their favorite restaurants. I am thankful that we were able to attend, since we live 4 1/2 hours away. But I wasn’t going to miss a milestone like that for the world! As a tribute to them, I am going to list all the things I have learned from their wonderful marriage.
10 Things I Learned from My Grandparents’ 60-Year Marriage
- Love your spouse. Sounds easy, but not everyone does it.
- Honor the vow of “for better or worse.” My grandparents have had to deal with the loss of their only son at two years old and a grandson at 27. They have battled serious ailments over the years. Yet, they stand by each other through thick and thin.
- Always kiss your spouse good night. After 60 years, they still give each other a kiss before going to bed.
- Share common religious and political views. My grandparents have always been a religious and moral compass in our family. They are devout in their faith and steadfast in their beliefs. My grandparents and I often have religious and political discussions. It’s actually the family joke that I always liven the party by getting them “wriled up” about religious, social, or political issues!
- Dote on your grandchildren, but don’t spoil them. We know we are loved by our grandparents. As children, we would have surprise treats or gifts here and there, as grandparents tend to do, but it was in moderation. We loved them because we loved spending time with them, not because they spoiled us.
- Be involved in your children and grandchildren’s lives. My grandparents coached their daughters’ softball team. My grandfather was a “90s Dad” in the 60s. He was actively involved in their lives and their activities. This continued when they started going to their grandkids’ sporting events, plays, etc.
- Live frugally. My grandparents did not attend college or have high-paying jobs. My grandmother stayed home to raise her children and only went back to work after the children were grown. Yet, because they lived practically, they have been able to enjoy retirement and have many years together to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
- Stay active, but also relax. My grandparents have made an art form of this. My grandfather was always fiddling around the house – building new rooms on the house himself, creating bookshelves, dollhouses, or other masterpieces for whomever needed or wanted them. My grandmother gardens, decorates like she has an interior design business, and plays bridge. But, they also know how to wind down and read a book or just sit on the porch and enjoy watching the world go by.
- Be a helpmate. My grandfather does the dishes (what 1950s husband does that?). My grandmother was always there to hold something in place while my grandfather fastened, screwed, or nailed something into place. I have always admired how my grandparents have always been a team for everything.
- Open your home to family. My grandparents’ home has been the source of some of my best holiday memories. They are gracious hosts to our ever-growing family – still preparing Thanksgiving dinner and post-Christmas celebrations. But, the weekday drop-in visits and Sunday after church visits are just as fun!
I’m sure I will think of a million more things my grandparents have taught me, but this is a good sampling of what we can learn from a couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. I am thankful for their positive influence in my life. I have used all of the above tips in my own marriage.
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