Why I Initially Resisted My Grandmother’s Remarriage

My Grandma, Sarah, has always been a sort of idol for me. She often watched me during the summers while my parents worked, and she awakened my love for cooking. My grandma taught me many other things, such as how to be elegant and gracious.


Growing up, I never really questioned why I had three sets of grandparents because it had always been that way. There were my mother’s parents as one set and then my father’s parents, who had divorced and then both remarried. Still, my paternal grandparents seemed to have had the perfect story. They went to high school together and then both attended the University of Oklahoma. My grandma ended up dropping out of college in December of her sophomore year because of the births of my father and his brothers, but my grandfather went on through law school.

My grandparents at their high school graduation


Then, after having five children together, my grandparents divorced. I have never learned much about exactly why or what happened. Life moves on. My grandma would later meet and marry another man, but they were not together for very long before he suddenly passed away. Then, before I was born, my grandmother married another man. He was the man who became another grandfather, and I loved him dearly. He passed away when I was in the seventh grade, and my grandma had been single ever since.


My grandma is the type of person that loves to take care of others. For example, she loves to make desserts and then give them away when people come to visit her. This is one reason why losing her husband was so hard for her. She must have felt so alone with no one to take care of, and that was, unfortunately, how it was for many years. Last summer, my parents even brought up the idea of my grandma moving in with us or moving into a retirement community where she could be with others.


Then my grandma met a man.


Their first date was on Valentine’s Day of 2018. I remember sitting outside and talking to her about it on the phone while I waited for my own boyfriend to finish practice. At first, I was glad she was happy. My original perception of the date was that it was more ‘two old friends catching up’ than anything romantic. Then, as my grandma and this man started to move more quickly, I mentally started to put on the breaks. I was not sure that this is what I wanted. It seemed so sudden for me. At the same time, however, I could not believe myself or explain how I felt to others. Why did I have such reservations about this romantic relationship? Why could I not let my grandmother be happy?


One reason is because this whole relationship occurred at a crucial period in the maturation and understanding of what love is for me. My whole life, it seems like I have been fed the story that there is one man out there- my soulmate- waiting for me. He is perfect, he will understand me and I should save myself for him. Mr. Right. These themes were especially important to me as I entered the dating world myself. One of my favorite quotes about love comes from Emily Brontë:


“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Does that not want to make you swoon? This quote encapsulates how I had understood love and tended to view my own relationship. But how true can that really be? Had my grandma just never been lucky? Had she already found her ‘Mr. Right?’ If so, why should she marry this guy? All these questions swirled around in my head as I watched my grandma giggle and call him pet names. For the first time in what seemed like a long time, she was so unequivocally happy. So even though I was still on the fence a little, I supported her in a more open way.

My grandparents during college during the mid 1950s


I watched my grandma get married on a nice Sunday afternoon, immediately following (and also sort of part of) the regular church service. A lot of my family was there and also a lot of the groom’s. As I sat listening to their vows, I returned to my concept of ‘Mr. Right.’ How can we know that there is only one person out there meant for us? No one can be completely perfect, but plenty of marriages last. Maybe our overarching ‘Mr. Right’ does not exist, but we can have a ‘Mr. Right’ for right now. If that concept is okay with my grandmother, then I guess it can be alright with me, too.