After 48 hours you actually know someone pretty well. You’ve been through two evenings, two mornings, two afternoons, six meals and perhaps some snacks, going out, doing things. You’ve gotten to the point of just hanging around which is ok, and even that is wonderfully fun.
On our weekend dates we’d go food shopping, doing some cooking. Maybe go to a movie, or antique shopping, maybe just watch tv and talk. I learned about NASCAR. He learned about my chicken obsession.
Our third date started out the same as the others, with Jeff coming straight from work on Friday night. I don’t know for sure what we did Saturday morning, but when we got back to my apartment, my mother called to tell me that her mother, my grandmother, had passed away.
I remember sitting down beside Jeff on the couch with the phone still in my hand. My tears fell on his shoulder, and neither of us said anything for quite a while.
When I finally started to talk, I repeated the things I’d been told. She lived a good life. She missed my grandfather for years. She wasn’t in pain. The things that people always said, and still always say, when someone has lived a long time and has succumbed to illness.
I gathered myself together, sighed, and started to go in search of tissues. I turned as I put my feet on the floor, just to say “thank you” for letting me have my moment, but as I met Jeff’s eyes I saw something I did not expect to see. Tears.
Jeff never met my grandmother. I’d spoken to her a few days earlier, and I’d talked to her about him and I’d told her how special he was. Jeff’s tears were for me and for him. It greatly saddened him that someday he would be in the same spot, mourning. Jeff loved his deeply, and wasn’t afraid to show or share it.
We talked about losing our grandfathers, whom we both admired. We talked about my grandmothers and how I was now grand-parentless. We talked about his grandmothers, Grandma and Nannee.
We talked about our families and our family history.
We sat on the couch for hours; until it got dark and decided we would order a pizza.
Then, we spent the evening just doing what we’d been doing.
Talking, holding hands, laughing, learning, and falling in love.
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