And he signed the letter, Oceans of Love…

It’s another sun down, moon up Travellers-

Obviously I don’t need to tell you what tomorrow is, right? And this particular post is one I’ve wanted to write about for a fairly long time, maybe let’s call this serendipitous.  So everyone gather round and I’m going to tell you about love. Not the Disney princess happily ever after shit or Hallmark cards smooshiness, I mean the real deal that I was fortunate enough to witness. That I am fortunate enough to be related to and in truth, THIS is what always keeps the belief of love alive for me.

Cue the music

My Grandparents, as in my mom’s parents, were the kind of humans I think we would all aspire to be. I know that sounds like a lot, I’m not saying they were flawless, but they were real, salt of the Earth, Rock of Gibraltar, Greatest Generation people. I can easily tell you that my Grandma Max saved my life as a child. She was the calm against my mother’s storm and she didn’t have to do anything, it was just her presence that made me feel safe. Even now as an adult, when I find myself scared or say I’m in a particularly difficult balancing pose in yoga, I can think of her and I am suddenly solid. She always assured me that everything will work out, and I absolutely believed her. I still believe her now.

My Grandfather remains one of the most amazing souls I’ve ever encountered here on this plain of life. He had so much life in him and strength and just got it, life. He also had multiple sclerosis. From my earliest memories of him, he was already in a wheelchair. If he had born in our time, I think he would have been walking for most of his life. His was the slow progresssion MS, so even up till his passing, he had upper body mobility and his mind was fully intact. I never once heard him say that life had been unfair, never heard complain about his condition even though I saw the uncontrollable spasms and how his hands didn’t always do what he wanted, but he never showed any signs of defeat. When I came seeking advice once in college about a matter that seems trivial in hindsight, he told me how everything in this life worth having is going to be hard. It’s going to require hard work. When I look back on that moment, and I do with some frequency, I realize now that he was also talking about himself, or so I imagine. He so wanted to be here with us.

Now for the love story. I could tell you about this moment when I was in high school and was sitting in my car waiting for her in the VA parking lot. It was raining and I can still remember her walking towards the entrance next to him. He was in his electric wheelchair and she was holding an umbrella over them both. And I could swear there was a glow. An energy. And I thought to myself, if I can find that, right there, that’s life, that is love. Love that endures all things, and all pain and facing the unfairness of that diesease. I can’t imagine they didn’t feel robbed in some way. I know they had to hurt for each other, but they were together.

Flash forward, they are both gone now. After her passing, I came to possess part of their correspondence from when he was serving in WWII. There are more letters, but due to my choice made with regards to my mother, I will more than likely never see them all. But what I have read is enough. For all our technology I have to say, nothing touches the energy in a written letter. I don’t know the words to describe what it’s like to read these letters. Here are the people I love, but I didn’t know this version of these two people. These are young, so in love separated by a war, optimistic people. There is only hope of the future, no illness, no pain. And just typing this makes me cry, because I just think they had no idea what was coming. How could they have known, just like we never know. But here I am reading them, knowing how the story ends and yet, seeing the beginning that I was not alive for…impossible for me to put that into words..

When I first heard this song above, I thought of them and the lyrics, “If you die before I do, I know the heartache will kill me too, so if I ever lived again it would be to find you…” if there is the possibility of another time here, I hope they get it… I have no doubt they would find each other again. I would wish for them a life free of the hardships they endured. I would wish for those people in the letters to never know his illness. I would want them to have another chance.

After my Grandpa passed, she was never the same. Perhaps because she was his constant care giver and she didn’t know what to do. I don’t think she wanted to be here without him, not in some soap opera drama way, just he was her person. I wonder now if she ever read the letters again after he died. I’m obviously never going to know. But my favorite closing of his was, “Oceans of Love, Chas” Can you even imagine that?…

Ok, so I’ve changed format here abit, but wanted to throw out the photo I promised when I first began this blog. Joy, I was always going to have joy here, but I’ve realized now that joy accompanies other lesser awesome feelings, and now those will live here too…because I’m going to just let it all out…


For the newbies in the back, this is Charlie, who I named after my Grandpa. He lost a leg as a kitten before we got him and I felt naming him this would hopefully imbue him with strength and fearlessness like his namesake.

P.S. I used to recommend a movie too with each post…If you want romance, ‘TThe Notebook” if you want sexy, “9 1/2 weeks” and if you want to rebel against the holiday, “Basic Instinct”…


One thought on “And he signed the letter, Oceans of Love…

  1. Lindy Lizenbery

    Amy, Your writing is touching places in the hearts of those who read it. You have touched mine. I encourage you to keep sharing and writing. I believe that by continuing you will actually help yourself on the difficult journey your are traveling through at this time. Stay strong. Lindy


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