My grandparents rock. They lit-rally put the “grand” in grandparents. They raised seven children, twenty-some-odd grandchildren, and now have I-don’t-know-how-many great-grandchildren. Grandpa was a WWII pilot. Grandma loved reading Winnie-the-Pooh to us. Grandpa was an avid curling player and would school us on his snooker table in the basement. Grandma could whistle like those birds in Mary Poppins. It was creepy, but cool. They used to have a decorative well in their front yard.*
Now they live in an assisted living home. In separate rooms. You see, Grandpa has Alzheimer’s, and his condition has deteriorated to the point where Grandma can no longer take care of him. So she visits him every day. They go on walks, they eat together, and sometimes they just sit. It’s very sad and beautiful and The Notebook-esque.
Tomorrow, May 20th, my grandparents, Bert and Joyce Attwell, will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. 70th.
That is almost unfathomable to me. 70 years of marriage to the same person. It’s flat out awesome, if you ask me. So, in honor of this beautiful, committed relationship, this week’s Top 5 will focus on things that are also 70 years long, just to put it in perspective. And because this is such a momentous occasion, and to help emphasize the significance of this accomplishment,** I will double the Top 5 to make it a Top 10. Here we go:
Things That Are As Long As How Many Years My Grandparents Have Been Married
- 10 times longer than the average American marriage, and 7 times longer than my marriage.***
- The average life expectancy of 1.04 people.
- One could recite the rosary approximately 1,839,600 times.
- 255.5 full hibernation cycles of an American Black Bear.
- The Mayflower could make its journey across the Atlantic 387 times.
- You could watch the extended version of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy 53,947 times.
- 8,516 Apollo missions to the moon.
- Repeating the longest winning streak in professional sports history fourteen times in a row.****
- You could apply for, and receive, approximately 520 U.S. passports.
- 36,792,000 Tom-Hanks-League-of-Their-Own-Pee-Scenes.
I love you, Grandpa and Grandma. Thanks for showing us all how it is supposed to be done. Happy Anniversary!
* It was relatively insignificant, and says nothing about their respective characters, but having my mom say, “When we get around this corner, just look for the well – then you’ll know we’re there!” was always an exciting way for us to end our 6-hour drive to their house.
** And because this is going to be fun.
*** We’re still in the running, though!
**** Jahangir Khan’s 5 year, 555 game winning streak in professional squash.