When Art and I were first married, we struggled a lot. We both brought in loads of unrealistic expectations into our marriage and instead of our first years being blissfully romantic, they were spent sifting through layer after layer of hurt, disappointment, anger, and grief.
For years my marriage felt more like a life sentence than a blessed partnership.
It was tough, really tough.
But one sticky, hot, Mississippi afternoon while at a family reunion, I caught a glimpse of something I’ve never forgotten. Peaking out a window with cracked green paint peeling from the sill, I watched as Mamaw pulled a rusty yard chair over to sit by Papaw.
Like a piece of a puzzle settling into place, Mamaw fit just right by her man. No conversation ensued, no catching up was necessary, just a look and a nod and everything was understood. It was their waltz of doing life together that had been perfected over time.
And it made me cry.
Tears slipped from my eyes and dripped down my cheeks splattering onto an old linoleum floor well worn from years of activity. Years of making his favorite breakfast of biscuits with giblet gravy. Years of running after their babies, grand babies and even great grand babies. Years of pacing the floor trying to chase away the grief of losing two of their six children.
I grabbed my camera and swiped the back of my hand across my cheeks.
“Kiss her Papaw,” I said in a voice too soft for his hearing aid to catch. Mamaw knew he hadn’t heard and so without missing a beat, she leaned over and kissed him instead. My camera clicked. And with that one click a legacy of love was captured.
I loved that moment.
I loved it then and I especially love it now.
It has been years ago that Mamaw laid Papaw into the arms of Jesus and kissed his cheek for the last time on this side of eternity. But last fall Mamaw joined Papaw.
I picture her seeing him again. Seeing him whole and healthy and able to hear her slightest whisper. And I love that thought. I also love the thought of Art and I one day sitting in old yard chairs able to speak volumes with just a glance and a nod. Still stealing kisses between the activity of all our kids.
And still thinking of the words Papaw once wrote to us in a letter I’ve read hundreds of times. “Life is more than just the living of it. Now, you two discover it together.”
And by the grace of God we are too. We really are.
The greatest of legacies aren’t necessarily built around the big moments of life marked with anniversary dates and wise words spoken to the crowds. They are built around peeling window sills, rusty yard chairs, and secret kisses when you thought no one else was looking.
But they were.Leave a Comment
Wow. I never comment.
Tears. Incredible, inspiring words. Thank you.
Bonnie Gray says
Lysa! What a beautiful anniversary memory of the love your Mama and Papa imprinted in your soul. You are so blessed to have that moment live in your heart and we are that much more blessed having been reminded this is how quietly an enduring love grows.
Great piece! Made me cry, it so beautiful.
So beautiful for it’s honesty and tenderness. Thank you for sharing. It was great to read about the rusty things in our life that can still be beautiful and functional.
I Live in an Antbed says
Glorious!! May each of us cultivate tenderness “between the activity of all our kids.” It’s so easy to forget those little moments sprinkled throughout our days. I must be intentional! Thank you!!
Erin M. says
Making me cry already this morning! Beautiful Lysa!
Completely true – ‘The greatest of legacies aren’t necessarily built around the big moments of life’ – we are a people caught up in STAGING big moments as though they are the relationship.
Holley Gerth says
Lysa, you’ve started my day off with a few tears–the good, right, affirming kind. This is beautiful, just like the love you wrote about. Thank you for reminding us again that love is as much (maybe more?) about what we do than how we feel.
shelly @ Life on the Wild Side says
I love this. I had grandparents like this too, and it has meant so much to me. I hope my kids see this kind of comfortable love between my husband and me.
wow. beautiful. thank you for this treasure.
Wow, powerful! My father-in-law recently passed away and it was such a blessing to see his wife take such passionate care of him. He wasn’t the easiest man to live with but you would never have known that by watching them in those last weeks. All the little stuff was let go of and there was just a lot of love. Quite the legacy for his 5 children and 17 grandchildren to witness. Thanks again for sharing!
Sandra Heska King says
What a beautiful testament to love. Looking for my tissues.
Love this. This is my dream for our marriage, and we are getting there too. 20 years of laughter and tears and ups and downs and encouragement and hurt–and we are well on our way. Sometimes a wordless kiss on the cheek says all of that.
Debbie G says
This is such a beautiful picture of lasting love. Thanks for sharing!
Being in my early 50’s, having raised two sons and just celebrating my
35th anniversary I have been thinking a lot lately about what kind of
lagacy I will leave some day.
The last few sentences of this post brought a *tear* to my eye this morning.
This one brought tears. It reminds me of my own grandparents, and even my hubby and me.
I am really looking forward to E-Women in Tupelo. Can’t WAIT to hear you speak!
I come from a fabulous legacy of grandparents who taught me what true love really is. Their ability to love each other and God has spoken volumes to me, even years after their homegoing. Thanks for sharing your memories that have in turn brought mine to the forefront.
A great reminder that love doesn’t have to be big and fancy! It just has to be…
I’m thankful for my marriage. I’ll be more intentional with showing my love. Because as we all know, time is a racer!
Denese B. says
What a fun picture, Lisa. I LOVE your Papaw’s advice…Wrote it down and plan to share it with my sweet hubby and DO it! Blessings…
Mel's World with Melissa Mashburn says
Tears are rolling down my cheek as I soak in this memory with you…what a beautiful picture of what love is, thanks so much for sharing Lysa! ~ <3 Melissa
Nicole Cottrell says
I just felt like I needed to stop by (In)courage today and this why….
My husband and I heard of a friends divorce last night, married less than 3 years. Our hearts were broken. We laid in bed together though thanking God for our marriage. We prayed that we would always do the little things, like steal kisses and hold hands, to avoid so many of the big things, like bitterness and resentment.
Thank you for this sweet and yet powerful reminder of our need to protect and cultivate the seemingly small events, because in reality, they are what make up our lives.
This is a perfect post for today. It is my anniversary & I need to remember to steel kisses sometimes just for fun 🙂 Thanks
This is precious! Marriage to the one God has given you is special, I love what age can bring to the relationship. The relationship changes, matures, and those words that you think are spoken by the other before they leave your mouth. What a wonderful memory you have of your grandparents.
makes me tear up…i know the struggle me and my husband have had….and now that we’ve been better…i pray that we will be like your grandparents…steeling kisses..
One of the things my husband said to me before we were married was that he noticed my mom’s full head of gray hair and assumed mine would be just as gray. Then he said he figured I’d look pretty good with a head full of gray hair. That’s one of the reasons I fell in love with that man and wanted to marry him–I knew he wanted to grow old with me. I love this picture of your grandparents stealing kisses. Makes me want to imitate their example. How beautiful, picturing them together in eternity.
yes, made me cry just thinking of the special moments I will share with my husband down the road. And made me cry thinking of the memories of my grandparents together, as grandpa is gone now, all we have are the memories. make them sweet so they will last!
This is the sweetest thing I have ever read! It made me cry! I hope I can be just like your grandparents one day! I Love your Pawpaw’s quote “Life is more than just the living of it. Now, you two discover it together.”
Beautiful! Thank you for the reminder to make good memories.
Oh the tears! I love it. My parents are like this, after 10 years of marriage my husband and I are like this and hope to spend the next 60 growing even closer. Beautiful and inspiring!
allison morrison says
Beautifully written…the best legacies are the ones that are unintentionally left behind
My New Favorite | thediaperdiaries.net says
[…] Post that sums up the reason I spend my weekends doing marriage ministry even when it seems like a pain in the buns::: Still Stealing Kisses […]
Mel's Goin Goin Gone says
Wow Lysa, you captured this moment so beautifully and what a treasured inheritance you have received because of their love. I too hope this is my husband and I someday (and today). Isn’t it what we all dream of?