The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Ever Read

Previously, in a “Frequently Asked Questions (For Which I Remain Answerless)” Post (which can be found here:, I said I didn’t have a book that impacted my life or anything like that; but I can name the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. It wasn’t written by anyone famous, it isn’t a poem or a piece of prose, it probably doesn’t matter to anyone outside of my family. But it’s by far the sweetest, most sincere, most perfect thing that was ever written in my opinion. It’s a family tree, written by my grandfather. Many of the words are spelled wrong and it is very matter-of-fact. Let me preface this by saying that many of my mother’s relatives were holocaust survivors. Thus, the family tree is blunt and terrifying in its descriptions of deaths. For many members of my family, the death date is accompanied by “all perished,” or “died in ghetto,” or simply, “gas chambers.” Obviously that is not the most beautiful part. My grandfather included very sparse information in his descriptions – birth and death dates, occupation, family members. That’s all. Except in one spot. When describing his marriage to my grandmother, he wrote, “I married the most beautiful girl.” Those six words are incredible to me. They represent an indescribable love. My grandfather, in describing the deaths of so many beloved family members, had no descriptive words; it was all strictly fact. The idea that my grandmother was the most beautiful girl wasn’t a question for him – it was simply a fact, a known. My grandfather was not writing the family tree for anyone outside my family to read, he was just jotting down an informal note. That is the truest form of love – the kind that doesn’t need to be shown off or bragged about, but is always there. It is unquestionable and undeniable. For my grandfather, it did not matter what anyone else thought; whether it was the day they met or their 50th wedding anniversary, my grandmother would always be the most beautiful girl.

My grandparents on their wedding day.

My grandparents on their wedding day.


One thought on “The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Ever Read

  1. Andrea Kelly says:

    What a touching story…Not going to lie – it actually brought a few tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this testament of love!! I can see why you would consider them the most beautiful words you’ve ever read.

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