Simple Elegance ~ A Story of True Love
Abigail loved this picture of her grandparents. She studied it in its simple frame. That’s how she always described her grandmother….simple, yet elegant. It seemed so out of place in the hospital room. It sat on the plain table next to her dying grandmother’s bed. She knew on the back it read, “James and Elizabeth – 1952.” She’d heard the story several times, and it was one of her favorites
Elizabeth, Abigail’s grandmother, had to move during her senior year of high school, after her father died. She was an only child, and she and her mother moved from Oregon to California to be closer to family. They arrived at the beginning of January, just a few days before Elizabeth would have to start at a new school. She always thought of herself as socially awkward, and had no idea how she would make any friends.
Her fears subsided when, on her first day, Elizabeth sat next to Mary in math class. The two instantly became best friends. Elizabeth often spent her afternoons at Mary’s house. It was during this time that she got to know James, Mary’s twin brother. It didn’t take long before the two fell hopelessly in love.
Once summer arrived, they loved going roller skating. All of their friends were always there, and they’d spend hours just going around and around, holding hands. They were doing just that as James got down on one knee and asked Elizabeth to be his wife. Mary was in on the surprise, and she was so excited for her friend. She told them to stop and pose for a picture. That was the picture that Abigail loved. They were married two months later, and created a wonderful life with their three children. The oldest, Michael, was Abigail’s father.
James had died in 2002, just a few days after their 50th wedding anniversary. While it had been one of the hardest times for their family, it was also a time of joy. As the family gathered at James and Elizabeth’s home after the funeral, Abigail went into labor with her first child, a boy. Her husband, Mark, knew the incredible bond that Abigail shared with her grandmother, and when he suggested they name their son James Michael, both Abigail and Elizabeth started to cry.
It was hard to believe that was eleven years ago. She knew it would be anytime now, but she was not ready to say goodbye. Abigail squeezed Elizabeth’s hand. As tears fell down her cheeks, she watched as her grandmother took her last breath. Abigail put her other hand on her stomach, knowing now that her unborn daughter would never get the chance to know her beautiful great grandmother Elizabeth. The woman that Abigail loved with all of her heart.