The following story is its' own page on my website but it had been a while since I had read it. When I did, I wanted to share it as a blog post in honor of my grandparents. I hope you feel inspired by their love story.....
These are my grandparents, Howard "Shrummie" and Marjorie "Marge" Shrum. They were married to each other for seventy years. They grew up in a small
coal-mining town outside of Pittsburgh named Connellsville, Pennsylvania during the Great Depression. From the ages of 8 and 11 they were aware of each other and Marge, my Nana, would watch Shrummie, my Pop Pop play ball in the park. Something about him stood out to her heart yet they never dated during their school years.
At age 18 Pop Pop was drafted to serve our country in World War II in the Pacific in the Navy. During that time, and feeling lonely for home, he thought of Marge and decided to write to her. The problem was that Marge had moved to New Jersey with her family and Pop Pop did not have her new address. Pop Pop was always tenacious and never gave up on anything. He wrote to a friend back in Connellsville who he figured had Nana's new address. In that letter he asked his friend to write him back with the information so that he could begin corresponding to Marge. And so the friend did as requested and my Pop Pop began courting my Nana from the Pacific Ocean. My Pop's friend eventually gave Nana the letter Pop had sent him requesting Nana's new address. To this day she has that letter, written on rice paper, tucked in a drawer with other lovely momentos.
When Pop Pop returned from the war he immediately made his way to New Jersey and proposed to Nana in the rumble seat of his buddy's jalopy. She said yes and the rest is history.
In their seventy years of marriage on this earth they had four children. Two of their children passed away as infants, one on Christmas Day in my Nana's arms. My Pop Pop worked many jobs trying to make ends meet and take care of his family until he eventually landed at Metropolitan Life Insurance. He spent 35 years as a successful agent until his retirement. My Nana worked at home, managing the household and raising children. They survived the depression, the war, illnesses and the passing of many loved ones . They enjoyed traveling, being with family, the Pittsburgh Steelers' games and most of all each other's company.
This picture was taken during the last days of Pop Pop's life. He was home on hospice, exactly where he wanted to be with his sweetheart at his side. He passed away peacefully in her arms at the age of 90.
This is a real love story. Not as glamorous as in films or books, but more beautiful, truthful and inspirational than any love story I have ever heard. My grandparents stayed together, through everything and in the end all that mattered was their love.
I dedicate my work to Nana and Pop Pop. They taught me the greatest lessons of love and life in the quietest, most humble ways. I wish you all the same kind of love affair as Marge and Shrummie.
Be an anchor in the storm and give each other wings.