Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy anniversary, Mema and Papa!

My grandparents' 58th wedding anniversary is today.

Arent' they cute?

Still holding hands after all these years...

I love my grandparents for many reasons, but perhaps what I admire most about them is their love and devotion to one another. My grandfather affectionately refers to his bride as "Sapphire" because she is his "precious jewel." My grandmother loves to share her memories of how they fell in love. Several years ago, I included their story in a family history paper for one of my classes at Auburn. This was written in May 2000 just after their 49th anniversary:
My grandmother attended college at Troy State, and the handsome young man awaiting her at the registration desk in 1948 was to be the man with whom she would fall in love for a lifetime. She thought he was the “cutest thing she had seen all day,” and she could hardly keep her eyes off him. He must have noticed her also because he kept coming back to ask her questions. My grandmother tried so hard not to like Tom Nichols because his "rumpled, boyish tendencies" seemed to contradict her "Christian standards" for her future mate. However, she could never escape him because they had speech class and band together. Eventually she became so infatuated that she would listen to hear the sound of his whistling as he walked to band, and then she would run down three flights of stairs from her dorm room so that they just happened to cross paths on the way. They began sitting together in class and going to the library to study on the weeknights. On special weekends they saw a movie, but because my grandfather had little money at the time, my grandmother was often happy just to sit and talk with him. My grandmother’s dorm had a curfew of ten P.M. on the weeknights and eleven P.M. on weekends, and my grandparents would stand outside under the pecan trees until the moment the dorm mother came to lock the door. Needless to say, they were just one couple out of many that were stalling the end of a date. Each couple had a tree to stand under, and when they saw the dorm mother coming, there was a “mass run to the door,” while the dorm mother grinned and waited until all the girls filed through. While preparing for bed, my grandmother always made sure to keep one hand away from soap and water so that she could smell my grandfather’s cologne on her hand as she drifted off to dream of him. Those butterflies that began fifty-two years ago are still in flight in each of them today. My grandmother shared her feelings on their recent wedding anniversary when she said, “And I still get a thrill when I see him from a distance.”

Happy anniversary, Mema and Papa! Your marriage is an example of Biblical love and commitment. I hope you have a wonderful day! I love you!


  1. Haley,
    What a wonderful tribute to Jane and Tom. I love those two people also. Since Billy and I have been going to Southside Baptist, and my singing in the choir, your grandmother and I have gotten close. I love her to pieces. Karen and her children went to Southside with our boys so we have known Karen a long time also. I love your blog. You do an excellent job. Keep it up - I will be checking it.
    God Blessed you with wonderful grandparents and God Blessed us with wonderful friends. "A friend loveth forever" and that is the way I feel about your grandmother. This tribute is a keepsake.
    Just a reply to say how great, Diana

  2. Great article Haley! I grew up telling that story but you tell it so well.

    Mom would say that she could recognise Dad's whistling as he came down the sidewalk heading to school and would rush out to meet him. I learned to whistle at an early age because he was such a good whistler. Later, as I got a lot better, I would try to whistle along with him to see if I could do it as well as he could. I am a pretty good whistler, but I don't think I ever got better than Dad.

    Uncle Tony