When Jacob proposed to me in April of 2012 I didn’t immediately start thinking about wedding ideas. We were just so happy to be engaged that we were enjoying it. After about a month, we started throwing around ideas and places and dates.
We both preferred an even numbered date to an odd numbered date — I don’t even know how that one came up — and we wanted the date to mean something more, to have some significance to us in our personal lives. When I suggested that we get married on my Great Grandmother’s birthday, I expected Jacob to scoff and say that we couldn’t do that, that people would think it was silly or worse yet, be upset by it. Instead, the first thing out of his mouth was
Hey, if we do that, our wedding date will be all prime numbers! That will be so cool, 7.11.13! Lets do it!
I explained that I thought that my grandma would have loved for us to celebrate with her in that way, and he agreed too (but liked the prime number thing more.) So that was the date we set.
But then comes in that darn ‘ol life, and my back problems started flaring up again, even after I had lost 70 pounds since I had quit working on the ambulance. (The weight was what I attributed and blamed my back problems on.) Dealing with potential back surgery and school and working three jobs just wasn’t working out with our perfect prime number wedding.
It was after one particular nervous breakdown about finding time to plan and make all my DIY wedding things that I have planned, that Jacob suggested that we bump the date back, saying I shouldn’t be so stressed out about something that was over a year away. I was immediately relieved, the stress just *poof* magically disappeared.
Well today is that year! and today we were supposed to be getting married under the beautiful towering white pines of Preachers Grove at Itasca State Park.
I know that there is no way we could have pulled off putting everything together with our busy schedules, but part of me just wishes that I had tried a little harder, pushed a little more. I feel like Grandma Roberts would have told me to “snap to it” with a grin on her face.
She would be 102 years old today. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use something she taught me. The one thing I wanted more than anything was for her to see me get married and to hold my first baby. But celebrating my wedding on her birthday was the closest thing I could do.
I’m sad that I’m not getting married today, I’m sad that I can’t hear one of grandma’s jokes that she would mumble under her breath, usually just loud enough for my trained ear to hear her, when she thought no one else could hear her, even if it was at my expense — usually about being a “young’n.” And I’m the most sad that I can’t sit at her little brown formica kitchen table that sat over the brown 1970s carpet that spanned the length of her kitchen, listening to the Obituaries and “Information Please” in the mornings on her little black radio that was forever tuned to the local AM radio station.
People come into our lives, and we know that they can’t stay forever, but one of the biggest things I learned from Grandma Roberts wasn’t one of the many things she actively taught me — like how she taught me to spell Mississippi and Minnesota when I was three years old. The biggest thing I learned from her was that we should really cherish the time we have, and not to waste time with things that don’t make us happy.
Grandma made me very happy. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw her. And even though I’m not getting married today, on her birthday, I know that when I do get married (in less than a year from now) that it will be a very happy day because I am marrying my best friend, the only person I have known since Grandma who knows what I’m thinking before I say it, and sometimes before I do.
After some internet searching, I found this eulogy by my great-uncle Herb Roberts, Lillian’s son.