Story behind Legacy of Love

I wrote Legacy of Love to honor my grandparents.  I thought I’d write about it on the fifth anniversary of my Grandpa’s passing; also my Grandma just came to visit, and my other Grandpa hopes to come next month.

This song reflects back on my grandparents’ marriages, and the example they were of true, devoted love.  As both my husband and I come from divorced parents, they were meaningful demonstrations for us as we started our life together.  I wanted to say thank you in the best way I know how.  I will always treasure the time when I got to play this song for them; seeing their joy was priceless!

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Years ago I was sitting in the hospital room with my paternal grandparents.  My Grandpa was in a lot of pain, and he was struggling to be his loving, patient, and gentle self.  I remember he said some harsh words to my Grandma, and all my Grandma replied in that moment was, “I love you, Bob.”  She stayed with him and loved him until the end. She recalls all the times when her mental illness kept from being able to be of much help; her husband would step up and take over, going to work even in his pain, looking after the kids, and caring for his wife until she recovered. She says that when one struggled, the other stepped up to help.  They always kept Christ in their marriage, following his example the best they could, and that made all the difference.  They loved each other dearly, treasuring their time together; Grandma misses him every day.  As Grandpa passed soon after my wedding, I learned that I need to treasure every day I have with my husband.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

– Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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I watched my maternal grandparents struggle through the difficult journey of my Grandma having Alzheimer’s for about a decade. She would get confused; she would get infuriated and stubborn.  Slowly, Alzheimer’s took over her memories, then her control, then her body.  Grandpa walked through it with her the whole time.  He would help her as best he could, and never gave up on her, even as he needed to accept her limitations.  He kept her as active as possible.  He would still poke fun at her like they did when they were young, which made her really come alive and be silly back.  He recalls all the times that Grandma would sit in the hospital with him when he’d fall ill.  They were still each other’s sweethearts up until the end.  Grandpa loves sharing stories, recalling their time together with joy.  I learned from them to always have fun with my husband, and to love him well in the good times and the difficult times.

Here’s to my Grandparents: may we all live our lives as you have, in such a way that we leave a legacy of love.