December 13th. It's a difficult day for my family and myself. On that day in 1963, my grandparents were married. This would have been their 48th wedding anniversary. Now being married I understand just how truly incredible that is. Sadly, this is an anniversary that won't be celebrated. My sweet PawPaw passed away on Oct. 31, 2007. (I can't believe it's been 4 years.)This is what I wrote for his memorial site. Today I wanted to share it on this platform as well.
On December 13, 1963 Beverly A. Nichols & Bobby G. Yancey were wed.
(For any of you who don't know- that's my Grandparents)
It was an intimate wedding, without all the muss and fuss that usually go along with weddings (what mine was filled to the brim with) but it was a beautiful one, or so I'm told. Just a few family, friends and a preacher in the church that my Grandmother grew up in, in Tupelo MS.
The bride wore a simple ivory dress, no veil. There was no reception, no photographer; actually there is only one photo from that day it's of the two of them, and I've never seen a picture capture so much love. They so loved each other. That's not to say that my Grandparents marriage was perfect, they had their hard times just like everyone else (maybe more than anyone else) but through it all they never stopped loving each other. They were the role model that taught me to love, that taught me how marriage should be. I often told them when I was younger that I hoped one day to have as full of a marriage as they did. The same still remains true today.
My Grandfather was many things to me. He was, of course my Grandfather; but he was also my Daddy and my best friend. He held my hand as a little girl learning to walk. He held the handle bars of my bicycle and taught me to ride a bike. He held my hand and congratulated me on the day of graduation. And he gave my hand to Chance on our wedding day.
In the last few years of my Grandfather's life he was not well, several years ago he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor on his right lung. Thanks to the marvels of modern science, the doctor's removed the cancer. He went into remission. He never completely recovered though, he had several other health issues that we contributed this to. And then the phone call came that changed all of our lives forever. In early January 2007 on a Friday night at around 9 pm Pawpaw's physician called the house. He had a tumor on his brain, near the cerebellum. The surgeons did their best but admittedly were not able to get it all. In the ten months that followed he got better, got worse, got better, and then got worse again. I believe that God led my Grandmother to nursing so many years ago so that she could take care of him in his final days. She nursed him through it all, staying up all hours of the day and night, neglecting herself so that he might not feel the pain. She was so selfless. In his final days we were all by his side. Eventually we all, in our own time told him it was ok to go. We all said our goodbyes, we were as prepared as you could be for that kind of situation. But he kept holding on, then on Oct. 31, my Grandmother (& sisters) birthday she told him it was time. A few hours later we went peacefully. He waited until he knew that she'd be ok, until she was ready. I had never seen that measure of love, he was dying and he was still taking care of her. (It's what he did best)
My Grandparents enjoyed two daughters together, sometimes more than others. And reveled in the glory of being Grandparents. I may be partial but I think the excelled at the latter. Their marriage was a rock that their two daughters and 5 grand-daughters will be able to look to as guidance for the rest of our lives. It was a blessing to us all. Their's is my favorite love story.