Monday, February 7, 2011

A Family Love Story

I have this picture sitting in a cute tiny silver frame on my desk.  It is one of my most favorite items in my whole house.  I love to look at it and see in their faces how they adored one another.  These two cute love birds are my grandparents, Linton and Dolly Collier.  Their story is simple but I find simple things to be the most sweet.  They loved one another and we all knew it.  They loved everyone of us too. That's what suppose to happen when somebody gets married and starts a family.  That feeling should go on for forever.  

My grandpa passed away just a month ago after having a heart attack and I miss him....we all do.  He would always want to wrestle with us and give us big kisses.  He also loved to talk about his wife and would  sneak cute glances her way when he did it.  He liked to hold her hand and thank her for everything.  He was good to her and she was really good to him.  I don't know all of the details but I do know enough to share their love story and the way it has affected me. 

Both grandma and grandpa were raised in sunny California. My grandma had lots of cute girlfriends (including shirley temple...if I remember right) while grandpa ran around with my grandma's brother.  She had grown up right in front of him.  

Grandpa joined the Navy during World War II while my Grandma was in High School.  When he returned from his service he saw her as more then just a friend's little sister and asked her to dance.  He said "when I got out of the navy she looked very good to me!"  They courted for a year before they were married (the day after Grandma's high school graduation).  

After our family visited with  Grandpa just a few days before he died he told me about how my Grandma's parents didn't like the idea of him marrying her but they went ahead with it anyway.  He was stubborn like that.  Good thing because look how cute they are and how happy they made everything!  Plus my dad came from them and I came from my dad.  When you love somebody you just have to have faith and go for matter what!

She wanted more then anything else to be a wife and a mother.  She moved with her family 7 times and one of them to a farm in Idaho.  They didn't know much of anything about farming but it was my Grandpa's dream so they took a risk and made the most of it.  My dad says she was the best cook and always kept a tidy home.  Grandpa couldn't sit still I guess.  He loved starting knew things and risking it all to start new businesses.  Grandma stuck by his side and did it all with him. 

They had three boys before adopting a baby girl.  They loved them, encouraged them and taught them well.  They believed in family.  They worked hard together and they played hard together.  When grand kids came along they seemed to like love us and to want to teach us everything they knew. Grandma loved to teach us girls how to cook and Grandpa would help us climb his trees in the yard.  They would give open hugs and kisses to everyone both when we arrived for a visit and when we left.  We knew we were loved.  They showed us, they told us often and they meant it.

Grandpa's favorite date was the day he asked my sweet Grandma to marry him.  Grandma was always his secret crush and would be for forever.  

They never considered themselves to be poor. He said, "With each other we were and still are exceptionally rich!!!

 When Grandpa was asked, "If you could use one word to describe your spouse what would it be" he said,
"Outstanding, loving, caring, nurturing- take your pick!"  I guess he knew she couldn't be pinned down to just one word.

Grandma said that the one word she would use to describe her husband would be "GREAT!"

Grandpa noted, "My favorite vacations are anywhere I can be with my wonderful wife, Dolly. I love that lady! I even enjoy sitting around home with her!! God has truly blessed us!

Their advice: "Always tell each other you love each other daily and hourly. Always do everything together and be patient!"

I love that no matter what they stuck together, loved each other openly and made each other feel special.  They put their spouse first and their family close behind.  Their legacy of love and their story will stick with me for forever.  I love you Grandma and Grandpa! I want to end up like you...happy and content.


* I need to thank my cute sister in law Katie for helping me with this post.  In the short time she knew my grandparents she put together a book of each of their lives.  I will always love having a copy of those books.  Thank you a million times!


  1. What a sweet couple! Family history is amazing - what a beautiful love story!

  2. Thanks for keeping their story alive! What a sweet post! Love you!

  3. Oh my goodness...what a sweet story! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Jenni,

    What a sweet tribute to your grandparents. I think you told it in way that I heve "felt it". For over the fifty five years I lived with them, I know that they have loved each other dearly. I also know that they loved us kids with all their hearts and I am sure they felt the same about every one of you grand children. I love my dad and my mom and will always be grateful for the values they lived and the lesons they taught us through their example.

    I love you!