When i lived in France, i had the privilege of meeting Grandma and Grandpa, LeeAnne’s parents. They moved to France when they were newly married and lived there as missionaries for many years. It’s so wonderful to be with Americans who have knowledge and understanding of a culture and language so well that they are honored amoung the local people as Grandma and Grandpa were – not to mention an absolutely flawless Parisian accent.
One time when they were visiting us, Grandpa went out to pick up some baguettes, cheese, wine and olives that would compliment the meal i was preparing for us all. When he returned, he rang the bell and Grandma answered it with the customary, “Oui?”. His reply to her was lost in the din of our conversation but i will never forget what she replied back to him. “C’est toi!!!” (It’s you!!) She said that with such delight and gladness that he had returned safely (he was only gone a short time and a few blocks away) that i’ve never forgotten it. “C’est toi” said “i’ve missed you, i’m glad you’re here, i love the sound of your voice, i’ve been waiting eagerly for you to return, i love you.” Very simple words, yet so profound.
And i wonder….if they can go through decades of marriage, learning a new language and culture, raising children,lifelong sickness and pain, misunderstandings from folks back in the States, and all the junk that life sometimes throws at us, and still, after all of that be delighted to be in each other’s presence, why is our generation so inept at staying married? True, Grandma and Grandpa have a deep faith in God and true, they did (and still do) take their marriage vows very seriously – but maybe it’s also a choice. A determination to enjoy each other, to welcome each other home like they were gone for days, to have respect and love for each other. i am honored to have known them and glad for the life long lesson taught to me by two simple words: