Sometimes, espcially when a couple has been together for a long time, it gets to a place where you can just see the love in their eyes…not to mention, the sheer joy of spending time wth the love of your life. That was how it was with my grandparents, George and Hattie Byer. Everytime he looked at her, you could see the love in his eyes. Grandpa only had eyes for Grandma. Everything she did was a delight to him. If she decided to get a little goofy and dance around the living room, Grandpa thought is was the coolest thing she had ever done…but then, he felt that way about everything she did. That is the I only have eyes for you kind of love.
Through the years, we saw that loving look on Grandpa’s face. Grandpa was sixteen years older than Grandma, not an uncommon thing for the times, and I think he was so amazed that he had found such a beautiful girl, and that she wanted to marry him. I think he just couldn’t believe how blessed he was. Of course, Grandma was pretty smitten with him too. Grandma was a short girl…standing five feet tall…in her tall years, and Grandpa stood over six feet. He was her tall, dark and handsome man, and she was very proud of him. You see, she only had eyes for Grandpa too. Most of the time, that is the way it goes. The feelings are usually mutual.
Grandpa was the bread winner of the family, and Grandma was the keeper of the home and the children. Grandma never learned how to drive. She just didn’t see the need for it, and I suppose Grandpa thought that was ok, but I’ll bet that if she had wanted to learn to drive, he would have taught her how. I think she always felt like she had all she needed right there at home, and anywhere she needed to go, he could take her. She would have had to pack up all the kids to go anywhere anyway, so maybe it was just easier to stay at the house.
Whatever the reason, my grandmother, who was happy as a clam, had to display that happiness sometimes, and when the urge to kick up her heels struck her, she didn’t hold back. To Grandpa’s delight, she would do something outrageous like strike a favorite pose or dance a jig. Then Grandpa, who was always mesmerized with his beautiful bride, would grin from ear to ear. It didn’t matter what Grandma was doing, because no matter what it was, he would always only have eyes for grandma.
When I think of my grandparents now, I always think of their latter years. They seemed more serious during that time, and now that I have experienced aging parents and in-laws, I can understand how that can be. People get more tired as they age, and the aches ad pains that can come with it often makes them forget the days of youth and the stamina that went with it. I’m not saying that they never had any fun, it’s just that life was harder and since it was a lot more work, they just didn’t have the same stamina that I remembered from before. The nice thing about pictures is that they are a reminder of days from the past, and sometimes, they can take you by surprise, because they portray events or personalities from the past.
My grandfather was smitten by my grandmother from the day he first met her. He simply delighted in everything she did. And my grandmother was a bit of a teaser, so when she would get that urge to be a little goofy, he was always thrilled with the whole thing. They were both always happy people. They always reminded me of that old song, “Side By Side”. They were just traveling along singing a son, side by side. Circumstances didn’t really matter so much, because they always knew that tomorrow was another day and nothing was all that bad anyway. They had their family, their health, and the smiles on their faces, and everything was going to be just fine.
My grandparents survived the Great Depression years, and like many other people, money was scarce and families were big, but somehow they always found a way to have enough food on the table, a smile on their lips, and a song in their hearts. They helped their neighbors and even the strangers that always seemed to find their way to their table, hungry and in need of warmth. They never turned anyone away. I suppose that is why their always had enough. Somehow, God always finds a way for those who will give to those in need. He makes a way for them to always have enough, and that is what was always the case for them.
My grandparents were married on Christmas Eve, so Christmas always a special time of year for them, filled with lots of celebration, and much gladness. As I said, my grandfather was smitten with my grandmother from day one, in fact you could say that he thought she hung the moon. He always got such a kick out of her antics, and when she decided to dance a little jig, he would look on with delight…unless he just decided to join right in. My grandparents have been living in Heaven for a long time, now, and I miss them very much, but when I see pictures like these, I find myself smiling at the memory of those happy days.