They Just Don’t Make Marriages Like They Used To

Happy Anniversary to Nana and Pop!

My grandparents met when they were teenagers. Young teenagers, in fact, as my Nana was only 13. They were married before either one was 20 – on May 11, 1946 – and moved to California because Pop was in the navy. After his tour of duty, they moved back to New York, Nana in her 1940s pencil skirts and Pop in his navy uniform.

They had six kids and 15 crazy grandchildren. The family lived in a two bedroom apartment in the Bronx projects until my mom, the third oldest, was 11. They then moved upstate to Westchester County, in a home almost big enough for all of them, and eventually, all of us. Thirty years ago, they bought a bungalow on Long Island, right on the Moriches Bay, and eventually expanded it for their growing family. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.

Nana and Pop's Anniversary, 2006.

Nana and Pop never wanted more than to love each other and provide for their family. It never occurred to them that there was anything else to be done in the world. They weren’t interested in finding themselves, their purpose in life, because they had already found it in each other. On a boilermaker’s salary they owned three homes in the most expensive places to live in the world. They had grandchildren that called them everyday just to say hi. And they had each other to kiss goodnight. Every night. And they were happy.

When Pop died on Dec. 21, 2007, I couldn’t help but wonder how Nana could live without her partner of 61 years of marriage, 67 years of friendship, and countless memories. Together, they taught their children – all of whom have been married for 17 years or more – how to love unconditionally, and set that example for their grandchildren, who have already, or will one day soon, be finding partners of their own.

We need a few more Nanas and Pops in the world. I’m certain it would be a much better place. Happy Anniversary. And thanks for loving each other, and me.


Filed under The Funny Thing About Family Is That You'll Always Be Related

5 responses to “They Just Don’t Make Marriages Like They Used To

  1. You know what I like best about our family photos? That no one is EVER with the right family. I am nowhere near my parents!

    • Lisa Rose

      Ha,Ha…I noticed the same thing when I was reading your blog. So typical of the Turnbull Family…no one is in the right place!!

  2. Indira Mandoske

    Beautiful….made me cry….. love you.

  3. Kelly- Wow what a great post. I am so glad to have found your blog. Your right we need more Nana and Pop’s. We are both lucky to have a cool set of parents of our own.

  4. Denise Turnbull

    That was beautiful!! I won’t mention the box of tissues I was searching for after I read it. We are all so lucky. Love you and your blog!

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