A Little Bit Of Light And A Lot Of Bit Of Love

menorah-cara-priceGetting to know Grandma and Gramps was one of the biggest perks of my marriage. My husband is lucky enough to have grown up with both grandparents, a privilege I never had. And they are the most awesome couple alive. We went to visit them with our son this Sunday, and we walked in on them waltzing. I should mention Grandma is 4 ft. 9 and Gramps is 6 ft.
They both went through the Holocaust, came to America, and built themselves up from the ashes. Both have doctorates, Gramps in sociology and Grandma in history, and they are both a beautiful blend of gentle and vivacious, even at their advanced age. But, what is most remarkable about them is that after sixty two years together, they are still madly in love.
They make it look easy. Watching them feed each other apple pie, count out the other one’s pills, and spontaneously waltz, one would think marriage is a piece of cake. But as any married couple knows, after the agiggle and aglow phase, the fire dims, and the grind of real life sets in. In the monotony of life’s routine, and the inevitable falling outs that are part and parcel of any union of two dissimilar beings, vigor and vim quickly fades into the distant past. Not them. Their fire is still very much alive, as if they posses some secret the rest of the world knows nothing about.
We talked, and laughed, and I spent the better part of the visit chasing my son away from Grandma’s very unchild-friendly knick knack collection. We searched for Gramps’ glasses and Grandma’s phone (she actually rocks an iPhone 5) and ate a lot of apple pie. We were getting ready to leave when the thought struck me; they are not getting any younger, and who knows how many more visits like this there will be. I had to ask them. I had to know what exactly their secret was.
So I asked. And they laughed. They said they get that a lot. But what Gramps said after that, while so deceptively simple, completely blew my mind.
“It is like a menorah” he said “every day you add just a smidgen more than the day before.”
How true? I thought about it all week.
Hollywood would like us to believe that you fall in love, preferably on first sight, and live happily ever after. Only in real life you always get cheated out of the fairy tale ending. Life is not like that, certainly not love. It is the ongoing process, a conscious decision, to add, to give, to be more than you were the day before.
What you add each day need not be monumental. Relationships are not built on candlelit dinners, romantic poems, or bushels of roses. It is the everyday stuff, the same things that threw a damper on the initial feelings of enchantment to begin with. Swallowed words speak volumes. Doing dishes or any other household chore can work wonders. Saying sorry might accomplish what grand plans never could. Just a smidgen, so long as it is ongoing. Ongoing giving and thinking about your spouse, putting their needs before your own. Not rocket science exactly, but oh so hard to implement.
I wonder how many marriages were ruined chasing the elusive happy ending, instead of working slowly and steadily every day to create it. When all you have is a tiny, faltering, flickering flame it is easy to get discouraged, and distinguish it altogether. But there is another way. You can add flame by faltering flickering flame. Like Grandma and Gramps, a Chanukah miracle themselves, who love each other a little more than they did the day before, and a little less than they will tomorrow.
Cara Price is a mom, wife, and aspiring entrepreneur who loves Israel, coffee, and her delicious family. Her hobbies include reading, shopping, and pretending she will write a book. She first reached out to us on behalf of her site, ZionJudaica.com
(Photo: N1NJ4)