Journeys of the heart

Sometimes the most important thing in life is not where you’re going, but who you get to take the ride with.

Tonight I celebrated my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. That’s pretty impressive, considering that nowadays, people seem to have trouble staying married for 60 minutes. They were just 21 when they married, and a lot has happened since then…they’ve lived through three wars (four if you count Desert Storm), countless presidents, the baby boom, the civil rights movement, numerous assassinations (JFK, MLK), the technology revolution, friends who have come, and friends who have gone (heck, they’ve outlived most of them) – and they’re still going strong.

The whole family got together to have dinner tonight, and we looked at slides of old photographs of their lives, from childhood on up. The styles have changed (though I must say, my grandma was quite the hottie back in the day!), the scenery has changed, the times have changed, but my grandfather still has that deviant smile, and they still seem very much in love.

And, amazingly enough, at 4/5 of a century old, they are still in great health and are very active. They have more of a social life than I do! My grandfather still drives (though I fear for my life whenever I’m in a car with him), still volunteers at the Chicago Botanic Garden, still builds things, and still fishes (he used to have boats in the harbor here in Chicago). My grandmother still paints (she’s an artist), still swims at the YMCA, still saves used ziploc bags and freezes EVERYTHING, and still plays mahjongg with her friends.

I can only hope to look back on my life when I’m 81 years old, and smile at all the accomplishments (and all the good times!) I’ve had throughout the years. I hope that I, too, can look back at silly Halloween costumes, days at the beach, backyard barbecues, weddings, bat mitzvahs, births, bicycle rides, family vacations, Christmas mornings, birthday parties, and fishing trips, and think, I couldn’t have asked for more.

Even when you travel far from home, it’s good to remember where you came from. After all, the tallest tree is the one with the deepest roots…