Grandpa’s 100th Birthday
One hundred years ago today, my paternal grandfather, Gerard Ivanhoe (G.I. for short) was born! He passed away five years ago. He was a hardworking civil engineer and was involved with many of the bridges in Washington, D.C. He was active– playing tennis even as he started to lose his eyesight and could only make out yellow blurs. He wrote in diaries daily and he was a great story teller!!! Every time I visited him in his last year, I would prod him for stories to write down in my own journals.
The thing that resonates the most with me right now about my grandfather is the love he had for my grandmother. Since I was the smallest little girl, Grandpa always talked about his how Grandma was his “dream girl.” He told stories about all the hoops he had to jump through to get “properly introduced” so he could finally ask her out. Throughout my lifespan, he was always describing her as the most beautiful woman, even to strangers in the supermarket. His admiration for her did not stop at looks. He often speculated that Grandma would be the first Methodist to be canonized by the Catholic Church.
The kind of love my grandfather exhibited– I had assumed it was a generational thing. It was a product of their time. It didn’t exist in my time. Men weren’t like that anymore. That ‘s that.
I was wrong.
I’m dating a man who works hard, a man who’s active, a man who loves to write. I hear tales over a decade old of how Ryan tried to impress me with hot wings and book signings. I wake up each and every morning to a compliment. And on those occasions when the term “dream girl” is used, I still get chills.
They say women marry men like their father. In twelve days, I believe I might be marrying a man like my grandfather instead. : )