This is the story of a boy and a girl who met, fell in love, then chose to love, and spent the rest of their lives together.
Once upon a time, there was a boy. He was growing up on a small farm, surrounded by two other farms, so that every one he knew growing up was family in some sort of way. He was one of the last children born to his parents. You see, there had been a terrible war that ended just before he was born, and his country had been in that terrible war. He was born to his parents in their later years, hoping to help their country with new children. The boy’s country had won the war, so as he grew up, he lived in prosperous times. But one day, everything wasn’t so great anymore. His family had to depend on themselves to survive, and they managed to do just that, reaping crops, raising livestock, and making their own or trading for clothes.
Then one day, everything changed again, and for the worse. Men from the king came and said that they had to leave their farms, land that had been theirs ever since his family had first come into that land. The land was going to be used for a special purpose, the kings men said, to create jobs and prosperity. It made no sense to the boy, now a young man, why they would take land away from farmers for short-lived jobs, but he had no choice. So his large family had to split. He went with his immediate family to a neighboring town, and found work there. It was hard work, and occasionally they had to go without, but they managed.
Now, once there was a girl. She was born and raised on a farm near the coast of the same land. She was born a few years after the Great War had ended, and was one of the last children of her father and mother, her father’s second wife.
She was too young to remember the prosperous years, but she came of age in the hard times. Her family held on, despite the hardships they faced, and managed to keep their farm. But one day, they had to leave. They were going to live with relatives, she learned, who would help them. Older brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles who still had something to lend, something with which to help. So she moved to the same town the young man lived in, and became a young lady.
One day, the young lady was sick, and was staying at an aunt’s house. The young man, who went to church with her aunt, came by to do some work. There he met the young lady, and while he worked, he prayed. He had never met anyone so wonderful, it seemed! A week later, he asked the young lady’s aunt for permission to ask her out on a date, and the aunt gave her permission, and the young lady said yes. She had the prettiest blue eyes, he thought, and the sweetest soul. She thought he was gentlemanly, and a hard worker. And they both knew and loved the Lord.
Nine months later, the young man and the young lady were married.
Shortly afterwards, another war broke out, greater and far worse than the First Great War. The young man had to join the army, and he travelled across the world. The young lady was terrified as her friends became widows, and their children fatherless. But they prayed and held on to Hope, that He would keep the young man alive.
The young man returned home safely after the war, and they praised God! But he was scared and hurt–he had seen terrible things in the war–and it took several years for him to heal.
Then, they had and raised a family. The young man became a man, a father, and then went Home. The young lady became a woman, a mother, a grandmother, and then joined the man and The Last And Greater Adam in their Home. They had worked hard, and left a Legacy for the generations to come, and their story, like now, will be told for decades, even centuries, to come.
They both fell in love at their first meeting, but they chose wisdom, and chose to love each other. Love is not something you fall into, they knew. Love is something one must choose. Love is not a noun or adjective, it is a verb. They came from a time where Love was a Person; where a promise meant something, and a vow was never to be broken; where marriage was a covenant, not a contract; and where if something was broken, you fixed it, instead of leaving it behind.
These are my paternal grandparents, Owen Maple and Maggie Erlene. They begat my father last of three children.
Grandma is nearing Home. She’s still alive, but Jesus is soon to call His servant home. Your prayers would be much deeply appreciated.