Fleeting Time

“We had just moved to Ohio after the camps, I wasn’t even 18 yet, and he walked down the stairs of that building and I just knew,” recalls 88-year-old Marian Sano.

As I sat with my grandma this weekend I understood how deep her love for my grandpa really is. In a single instance she knew he was the one she would spend the rest of her life with, and four years of dating and 66 years of marriage later she stands by his side in the toughest part of their journey together.

“We started dating but then moved to opposite sides of the city,” grandma said, smiling. “I was way on the east side and he was way on the west side, but he would take a trolly or a bus two times every weekend just to see me.”

In the middle of our conversation, my grandpa yells, “Honey! Please scratch my back,” and I can’t help but giggle. He always adored my grandma, and she, him.

As  grandpa laid in a hospital bed in the home my father, uncle, and aunts grew up in, he dozed in and out of sleep surrounded by family.  No amount of disease or lack of nutrition could cloud his mind of the fact that my grandma was just one “Honey,” away from his side.

He hadn’t eaten for a week and wasn’t able to consume any water so life just became a waiting game. My grandma sat attentive, noticing his every move and showing no fear, despite the incredible amount of pain that had to have been moving within her heart and soul. I can’t speak enough of how moving it is to see such love beaming from such a beautiful woman.

The pain my grandpa is suffering is heartbreaking for me to witness. I am encouraged by the incredible amount of strength and peace that each of my family members have; and in a sensitive time I found release and peace in capturing the beauty with my iPhone, despite all of the darkness that age and illness can bring. I don’t take these moments lightly and I hope that by sharing, others might find comfort, courage and strength in the fact that there can be hope in the midst of great struggle, or maybe just remember that time is fleeting, and worth treasuring with those we love.