Every time I saw, Bob’s grandmother, Vina Leary Hein and her second husband, Walter Hein, they were always happy and fun people to be around. They loved company…especially their grandchildren. Nevertheless, they were hard working people, who rarely took a vacation…or even a day off. The owned a ranch, and there was always too much to do to be away for very long. The only bad thing about all that they had to do, is that they didn’t have as much time to spend with company as they might have liked. Nevertheless, when company was visiting, the evenings belongs to them and what usually went on in the evenings when company was visiting…cards, or at least that was what the evenings were like when Bob and I would visit.
Sometimes, I wondered how Grandma and Walt ever got together. They were two very different people. Walt would have never left the ranch, and wished Grandma wouldn’t either. For her part, she would really rather not play cards at all, and yet she finds herself roped into it. She wanted to be able to go to town and to visit her family, and he didn’t. It seemed like the odd couple sometimes, and yet, there was something that glued this couple together…love and friendship. They were two very different people who meshed perfectly…even if no one else could see why.
One of the happiest days I saw for them was their 50th Anniversary party. They were so happy. Walt was even open to leaving the ranch and the work for the day. He and Grandma looked so happy, and it was such a fun day. They socialized, danced, and enjoyed the foods. They smiled constantly. I could suddenly see that despite the fact that they seemed so opposite, they were nevertheless a perfect match. And whether we could see what it was that drew them together or not, after 50 years, it was obviously there.
As happy as I was for them, the day came when I felt such an aching for Walt. That was the day Grandma passed away. He seemed so broken, so horribly sad, and suddenly almost like a little lost child. It just broke my heart. It became so obvious to me, that Walt loved Grandma with all his being. I wasn’t sure he could live without her, and I suppose he might not have been able to, except that dementia had set in for him, and the foggy memory of her passing, made it easier to bear. Walt lived another six years before he passed away. While they have been gone 16 and 10 years respectively, I still find it very hard to believe that they are gone. Today would have been their 75th Anniversary. I’m sorry that they weren’t here to see this day, but then Grandma would have been 105, and Walt would have been 108, so it seems very unlikely that they would have been here today anyway.