Skip to main content

SHMILY - Love Your Spouse Well

My grandparents were married for over half a century and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word “shmily” in a surprise place for the other to find.
They took turns leaving “shmily” around the house and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more. They dragged “shmily” with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers, to await whoever was preparing the next meal.
They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio (where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring).
“Shmily” was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper, to leave “shmily” on the very last sheet.
There was no end to the places “shmily” would pop up. Little notes with “shmily” scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows.
“Shmily” was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents’ house as the furniture.
It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents’ game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love, one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents’ relationship.
They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection, which not everyone is lucky to experience.
Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses, as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other’s sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble.
My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew “how to pick ‘em.”
Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune and each other.
But, there was a dark cloud in my grandparents’ lives: my grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier.
As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside.
Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my grandfather’s steady hand, they went to church every Sunday morning. But, my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore.
For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife. Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone.
“Shmily.” It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my grandmother’s funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time.
Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother’s casket and (taking a shaky breath) he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came (a deep and throaty lullaby).
Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. I knew that, although I couldn’t begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.
“S-h-m-i-l-y: See How Much I Love You…”
Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for letting me see.

Comments

Christy said…
Oh Ann. That is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Popular posts from this blog

Children's Prayers During Meals

The Armistead family taught our children a lovely blessing to sing at the dinner table. It is sung to the tune of the children's classic song, Are You Sleeping?

God our Father
God our Father
Once Again
Once Again
We bow our heads to thank you
Bow our heads to thank you
Amen
Amen

We love this blessing, and we've recently adapted it to involve younger children and guests. Instead of everyone singing each phrase twice, we sing it as an 'echo prayer'. One child leads the song, starting with the first phrase, "God our Father". The rest of the table echoes. Then the leader leads the second phrase , "once again", before waiting for the table to echo. And so forth, until the whole blessing is sung.

It's an easy way to remind our children (and ourselves) to give thanks to our Provider and Sustainer throughout the day.

Goody Bags for Marriage Retreat - please share your ideas!

Reader Question:
I am in charge of creating 74 goody bags for an upcoming marriage retreat for my church, and I am in desperate need for some frugal, creative ideas on what I could put in these bags. In the past I know people have put little candy bars, a bag of microwave popcorn, a couple of packs of hot chocolate, tea bags etc so I was looking for ideas that might be something similar, but maybe a little different too. Would you have any fun thoughts on this?

A Few Ideas:
Visit www.likemerchantships.blogspot.com - Meredith does a fantastic time being incredibly hospitable on a budget.Our women's retreat coordinators wrapped the following things in a cellophanebag: a mininotebook, a pen, a candle, peppermints, chocolate kisses,and a colored paper quote/scripture. A friend just suggested packing candies that correspond to questions: an almond joy - share a joyful moment in your marriage, a hershey kiss - something about your first kiss, snickers - laughs, lifesavers - when your…

26 Ideas For Lego Storage Containers

My two boys LOVE legos, so they naturally end up scattering lego creations and random lego pieces throughout the house.  Last weekend, we converted their closet to be a LEGO WORLD.  Now they can store lego (and knex) pieces in their lego world, they have instructions for all of their kits in a ziplock bag, and they have a place to display their favorite ships.  And I have a mostly lego-free kitchen and living room!!

I just stumbled upon a great article with ideas for storing legos, if you have similar struggles in your house!  Check this out:  26 Ideas For Lego Storage Containers