My grandparents were married for 63 years. In all of my memories, they were together. In my mind seeing one of them was to see both of them. It was their house, their car, their animals, their church, their family. They were united in a way that you rarely see in this world.
After my grandmother passed away, my grandfather lived on his own for some time. He did well for himself considering that he had lost the partner that he had spent the majority of his life with. I would often call him to check in, and we would have a short chat. He always wanted to know about my kids and my company. Every conversation ended the same way. He would say, “Is there anything we can do for you?” He always said “we” never “I.” In his mind and heart, he was still a part of a “we” even though my grandmother was no longer physically. What he had to offer was still from them, not from him. His advice, his possessions, his love, his knowledge was all a part of what they had built together; it always came from “we.”
I think there is power in recognizing that we are a part of a collective “we.” What I have to offer doesn’t come from me alone, but my wife participates as well and in some fashion my kids and extended family too. I am the culmination of the people around me that refine and shape who I am. Much of my success is because of my family and community. Without my wife’s love, my dad’s encouragement and my mom’s sense of adventure I can’t imagine what type of person I would be today.
There is power in being a part of “we.” It shapes us, makes us better and stronger. I hope my “we” can be as strong as my grandparents was.