This is the story of Bob and Sue.
They met on the tennis courts in 1947.
She was 18 with long, thin legs and inky-black hair like a movie star.
He was 21 with a gap-toothed smile, attending college on the GI bill. After a year of dating, they married and moved into a small trailer equipped with a two-burner stove, an ice box and an outdoor community bath. Money was tight and they both worked their way through college. Eventually they bought their first house for $8,000 and started their family.
They became educators. They had two children, and hosted barbecues and birthday parties in their backyard. They didn't own fancy clothes or cars. They never took extravagant vacations. They continued playing tennis and golf together. They lived life simply, and appreciated everything. They had the same values, and they had each other, and it seemed like that was all either of them required for a happy, fulfilling life.
Before they became my grandparents, they were simply Bob and Sue.
A few years ago, at their 60th anniversary party, they were asked the secret to long-lasting marriage.
"Don't get divorced and don't die," my granddad joked.
But if you read the book they wrote together last year--a living memoir of their life together--you'd hear how he really feels about his girl.
"I met Susan soon after arriving at college and we dated for a year. She was my dream girl and I felt we were soulmates. We soon decided we wanted to marry. She was 18 and I was 21 and when we approached Mrs. Walker to get permission, she advised against it. We were totally smitten and we wanted to marry anyway. Mrs. Walker was probably right about it, but after 63 years of marriage I guess we did okay. We are still in love."
And it shows.
They are respectful and kind to each other. They hug and hold hands and help each other off the couch. He still pats her butt when she exits a room and she still laughs at all of his jokes, even the corny ones. They are the kind of couple that is simply delightful to be around. They chose each other, and you can tell they chose right.
Happy Valentine's Day to the couple who has taught me the most about love...
Bob and Sue.