Happy 63 year Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa Budd
My Grandma and Grandpa Budd just celebrated their 63rd anniversary on Friday. They are a great example of true love and I have always looked up to them.
Merle Stout met Jerry Budd when she was only 13 years old and he was 18. My grandma was best friends with his sister Radine and they would always hang out and do stuff with the family. My Grandpa proposed in 1940 but they weren't going to get married until after my grandma was either close to graduation or graduated. A year later my grandpa got a letter and was drafted in the army. The war hadn't officially started yet for the US so there was little worries. Only a month later the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and we were at war. My grandpa originally thought he would only be separated from my grandma for a few months and the longest a year (as stated in his draft letter) But the war changed things. My grandpa served in the Pacific and even fought the long battle of Iwo Jima. (It lasted over a month of fighting thousands of Japanese on only a 4.5 mile long island.) Four years later he finally made it home on October 31st 1945. My grandma never dated one other person. (And people thought it was hard to wait for a missionary.) They were married 7 days later on November 7th. Seven has since been her lucky number. My grandparents have been a huge part of my life. I lived with them for 8 years and they are what made me believe in love lasting forever.
For the last few years I have been reading my grandpa's journal from war and also my grandma saved every one of his letters in those four years. He had some amazing, sad and spiritual experiences. Although it is one sided I still get an idea of what my grandma wrote him by his responses. It is the neatest thing, I am trying to put their experiences into a story. I feel like it is a story I would like my kids to know of their love through those hard times.
Here is a direct quote from one of my grandpa's letters. Just a few months after Pearl Harbor and he was headed somewhere, unknowing to him, in the Pacific. This was when he finally felt at peace that things would be okay.
February 06, 1942 - Some where in the middle of the Ocean
“On Monday evening Feb. 2, I sat on the upper deck and watched a beautiful full moon come over the horizon. As I saw it in the sky so full and round and glistening on the water, I forgot all about being sea sick and I thought about you. I felt as though you were right there in my arms. I stayed there for hours and hours watching the moon and dreaming about my beautiful fiancé. I imagined you were doing the same thing. It was so wonderful that I didn’t dare move for fear of breaking the spell. About midnight it began to get a little chilly, but I was so thrilled and happy, I went and got a blanket and slept all night on the deck. I felt so close to heaven and to you. It was like you were there in my arms. It was all so real I’ll never forget it. I awoke the next morning from my little sleep on the deck and felt very refreshed. All signs of seasickness had left me. This was the first day since I left that I felt like eating. When I return to you we can be married and sealed to each other for time and all eternity in the temple. Oh darling when that day comes I’ll be the happiest person on earth. Well so long for now my sweet itto wife to be and I’ll write as soon as possible. Love Your hubby (soon to be), Jerry”
This is a picture of them with about half of their grandkids. Taken in the beginning of 1982. I am the little baby on my grandma's lap. I am so lucky to have wonderful examples and inspirations in my life. Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa.