I adore a good love story. Tales of unlikely reunions, rekindled romances, couples’ triumphs over tragedy – they all make me clutch my heart and feel grateful for real-life evidence that love conquers all.

To my total surprise, I think my favorite new love story is now unfolding right before my eyes. My Nana has spent the last 24 years alone, ever since her beloved life partner – my grandpa, George Munson – died of cancer in 1988. Their love story was a beauty; it was love at first sight and they married in Chicago just before he was deployed overseas in World War II, ensuring they were legally and lovingly bound no matter what happened. Nana took comfort in knowing her sweetheart was surrounded by good guys in the service; his best buddy was a guy from Connecticut he called Hibb. He was funny and kind – just like my grandpa. Their bond was so strong that Hibb still tears up when he recalls their friendship.

Nana met Hibb twice in the 1940s. After the war was over, she would send Christmas cards each year to Hibb and his wife, Shirley. And once, 26 years ago, she and my grandpa met them for dinner in Connecticut during a road trip to see family.

Fast forward to this past Christmas. When Nana didn’t receive a greeting card from Hibb and Shirley, she decided to call and catch up. Hibb answered – and broke the news that Shirley had passed away that spring. Nana and Hibb talked for a while, sharing old stories and common bonds. Soon, they were talking every day…and every night. He sent letters and flowers and a homemade pie. Nana downplayed their relationship with us, her family, but we could tell something sweet and special was developing. And then, Hibb – now 90 years old – decided to get on a plane to visit Nana.

A photo Nana brought to the game - of Hibb {left} and my grandpa {right} in 1944.

Honestly, we weren’t sure what to expect – or how this would go. But a few days into his visit, they each seem so delighted to be in the other’s company. On Sunday, Brad and I took Nana and Hibb to a Twins baseball game, hoping to give them an extra-special experience they could share and reminisce about later. Well, they were as giddy as schoolkids – walking arm-in-arm or hand-in-hand, giggling and reminiscing about their baseball idols {like Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio}, looking like the epitome of young love.

I was shocked when Hibb revealed he hadn’t been to a professional game since about 1947! He was awe-struck by the ballpark and by the company he was with, saying he couldn’t remember the last time he’d had so much fun. Nana couldn’t stop thanking us, overjoyed by the outing. I’m not really sure who felt more joy that day – Nana and Hibb for being there together, or me and Brad for getting to watch them in such a state of bliss.

And the day would not have been complete without a bit of serendipity to knock us off our feet. Midway through the game, a security guy appeared and stood by the rail near us. Though I hadn’t looked at anyone else’s name tag, I was immediately drawn to his – and no wonder:

it said George M! 

Soon after, Nana and Hibb got up for a bathroom break. George M. followed them up the stairs and held the door open for them. He stayed for a few more minutes, then disappeared. It felt like a playful Godwink delivered by my grandpa, seemingly blessing the beauty of this sweet relationship blooming between his wife and best buddy – at ages 88 and 90. As Nana keeps saying, “God works in mysterious ways.”

I’m sharing this story as I participate in the Plant A Kiss blog hop, organized by Sherry of Simply Celebrate to celebrate the launch of Amy Rosenthal’s new book, Plant A Kiss. Sixteen bloggers were asked to do something special on Sunday that would plant joy in our corners of the world – and then blog about it today. As you read our stories of love and joy, you can enter to win fabulous prizes by commenting on each blog you visit. View links to all the blogs here; I hope each story inspires you to cultivate joy in your life and to believe in the power of love – at any age.