What Granny’s 65 Years Of Marriage Has Taught Me


What Granny's 65 Years Of Marriage Has Taught MeIn November, my grandparents (who I fondly refer to as Granny and Pop Pop) celebrated a rare and almost unheard of milestone: 65 years of marriage. As I looked around the room at their anniversary party, it was easy to see the legacy they have created. Three daughters, eight grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and a group of sons-in-law and a whole slew of spouses who married into the family, all knowing that none of us would be there if Granny and Pop Pop hadn’t fallen in love and gotten married all those years ago.

Looking at their marriage from the outside, I have always attributed its longevity to their selfless love for each other and the way they work to love others. I have seen them take care of each other through illness and injury. They always picked up the slack when the other couldn’t, and they were never too proud to do what needed to be done. I have witnessed them helping their neighbors through acts of kindness and sacrifice. Pop Pop can often be found driving a neighbor to the store or repairing something at their church. And Granny is always collecting items for a church charity or making food for someone.

Hospitality seems to be a core part of their life together. Their house is one of the most welcoming places I have ever been. So many of my friends have passed through their home over the years. Granny is “Granny” to them, too – she insists on it. Ever the hospitable Southern lady, she is always ready to make anyone who steps through her door a meal, and they are welcome to stay as long as they want. Pop Pop is always ready to have you watch the Vols with him or to cheer on the Braves.

I had my ideas of what makes their marriage work, but I wanted to know what Granny thought, too. So I asked her what advice she had for those of us who would love to make it to 65 years of marriage and beyond. Her answer both surprised and inspired me.

She didn’t begin giving her advice the way I expected. There were none of the clichés we have all heard before. Instead, she spoke candidly about getting through hard seasons and how that strengthened their marriage. She talked about how hard it was to move away from her mom and family right after the wedding and about feeling homesick. As a young Air Force bride, she relocated with my Pop Pop to a brand-new city in Florida. They experienced job changes and moves that made life difficult at times. She talked about how it was hard to have daughters go off to college and daughters leave to get married. Granny also spoke about all the happy times too — what it was like raising three girls and what a blessing it was when her first grandchild was born.

She credits their successful marriage to a shared faith and shared values. Granny pointed out that a long, happy marriage requires LOTS of patience. She told me that you need to be sure you love someone before you marry him, and that you aren’t just doing it for the sake of being married. She also emphasized that nobody’s perfect. She said that’s a hard thing to realize when you first get married. You think they are perfect, but they aren’t. She also joked that you don’t argue anymore when you get to 65 years because there isn’t anything left to argue about.

This conversation and my own observations over the years have taught me that marriage is never easy, but if you can stick out the hard times and hold on through the tough seasons, it’s all worth it. If you can weather the storms and love unconditionally, and put others first, you might just find yourself in a room one day surrounded by the family and legacy you have created.


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