March 21, 2013

Monsters, Inc. and A Love Story

For Easter, I bought all five of my grandchildren a stuffed animal, but not the usual stuffed bunny or chick. Nope this year they will all get a Monsters, Inc. plush toy named George Sanderson.

George is a scarer on Scarefloor F at Monsters, Inc.  He is a furry monster with a horn on top of his head.  George is also very good friends with Mike, Sulley, and Claws Ward.

It is rumored that George Sanderson will be in Disney's soon to be released movie, Monsters University, the sequel of Monsters, Inc.

One, two, three, four, five plush Disney, George Sanderson's, and the framed photo, well that is my George Sanderson.

I met George in November of 1972.  He wore pointed toed shoes, wore straight legged jeans, listened to Elvis, and had just returned home from his tour of duty in Vietnam.  I wore hippy beads and bell bottom pants, listened to Motown, and was totally against the Vietnam War.

We met through mutual friends, our first meeting was at a bowling alley, I dislike bowling, but the other three people enjoyed it, so we all bowled a couple of games. 

During the evening, we were at odds on almost every subject, except I loved Sonny and Cher and he agreed that they were alright.

I thought I would never see him again, but he was a persistent young man, and I found myself going out with him the following week.

He was from a small town in southern Illinois, a Lutheran, from a divorced home, had seven brothers and sisters, and was soft spoken. I, on the other hand, came from a Chicago suburb, was a Catholic, had a loving family unit, one  brother and one sister and was often loud and opinionated.

I got to know George much better and within a month I knew George was the man I would marry. You know they say opposites attract, and in our case it was the truth.

Four months later, on March 30, 1973, George and I went to the court house and got married. Later on May 5, 1973 our marriage was blessed in the Catholic church, which made my family happy.

This photo was taken soon after we were married. I was twenty two, and George was twenty five when we said our I do's. During the short civil service, we exchanged simple gold bands, with a promise of a diamond in the future. 

George worked for American Motors as an electrician, but during the 1970's and into the 1980's the industry wasn't selling many cars. With the lack of car sales, the factory workers often found themselves laid off with unemployment compensation as income.

We had our first child almost two years later, and two and a half years later came number two, and 18 months later came number three. We certainly weren't rich, but we were happy, most of the time.

Fast forward to our 25th wedding anniversary, March 30, 1998. George left for work, and I was getting ready to leave for the elementary school that I worked at, when I found the card.

I opened the card, and I found this note inside.

I was getting my diamond ring from the man that I loved for twenty five years. Tears filled my eyes, and joy filled my heart.

My friends were thrilled at the prospect of me finally getting a diamond ring, so we all went shopping. So many different cuts of diamonds and so many setting styles. I liked several but didn't love them. 

When I came home from looking at diamonds, George asked if I found something I wanted. During our marriage, I might have mentioned a few hundred times that I didn't have a diamond ring, and now with the diamond ring within my reach, I realized that I didn't need or want a diamond ring. The offer to buy me one was enough. 

George leased me a fully load Jeep Grand Cherokee instead of the diamond ring, and I was a happy girl.

Eight months after our twenty fifth wedding anniversary, my George Sanderson was killed while riding his motorcycle.

March 30, 2013 would have been our 40th wedding anniversary, and with Easter the next day I thought it would be fun to have five Disney plush George Sanderson's being hugged and loved by all of the grandchildren. As for my George Sanderson he will be with us in spirit, and he will always be in my heart.

This is my love story.


  1. And it is a beautiful story!

  2. Lovely and touching memories, Paulette. Thank you for sharing them with us. Hugs, Linda

  3. OMGosh, Paulette! As I began reading your post I smiled:) Monsters, Inc. is my most favorite animated movie ~ so clever and just as much fun for adults as children. As I read on, I continued to smile reading your sweet love story. Then I got goosebumps ~ how sad. Your post is beautifully written, and at the end left me smiling because you're keeping his memory alive in such a happy way. Sending you lots of xoxos right now:)

  4. Oh Paulette, your beautiful and sad story brought tears to my eyes. You and George were married 3 years after we were, so the times you spoke of are so familiar to me. And like you, I would have taken the Jeep over the diamond. :-) I am sorry that you lost your dear husband. I can't imagine the pain. I'm glad you were blessed with many years (but never enough) and children and wonderful memories.

    I hope you have your loving family around you when you reach your anniversary date.

    And I think it is the coolest thing that Disney is also remembering George Sanderson, whether or not they realized it! ♥

  5. They should be thrilled to have a stuffed animal named after their grandpa. I felt your story within my heart. I am so glad that you had a love of your life and was able to share that love together for 25 years.

  6. I love your love story! So sweet he remembered and made the offer, and that you realized that you didn't need it after all : ) I am so sorry for your loss. The stuffed animals are adorable and must make you smile.

  7. So sorry that you lost your beloved husband in such an untimely manner.This was a really lovely story, if sad, to read.True love. I dont think anyone ever really needs anything like diamonds.Other things are far more important and you knew that.Take care, Paulette.
    I really love the idea that his name lives on for the little ones with the cuddly toys.

  8. Paulette what a beautiful love story and piece of your heart you have shared. Hugs to you, dear one.

    Your grandchildren will indeed love their own George Sandersons and bring a smile to their grandma's heart.

  9. I wonder if George and Rick are getting along up in heaven? ;)
    Never put two and two together on Monsters Inc that is so neat!
    I loved this post, what a great love story.

  10. What a beautiful love story. Your grandchildren are very lucky to have such a special grandmother!