Monday, July 8, 2013

Sixty-seven Years

The walkers have taken up permanent residence in the trunk of their little car. Not for every day use, mind you. There are canes for that. The walkers are reserved for walks in the little park near their home. When the cardiologist told him he needed to get a little exercise every day, she took charge.

Bright and early on the mornings he doesn't have to go to the dialysis clinic they drive the short distance to the new walking path. She dons her sun hat - the one with the little visor and cute little bow in the back. He hauls the walkers, blue handles for him, pink for her, out of the trunk. Slowly they begin their walk.

The sun beats down even at this early hour, but there is always a gentle breeze. Other walkers, most with dogs straining at their leashes, easily pass them. They aren't in a hurry. They have learned the pace of life in old age.

On this particular morning a young man is running sprints - back and forth between trees at lightning speed. They pass him and look with eyes of remembrance at the strength and endurance of youth. Just as they reach the car, the young man stops his furious dashing and approaches them.

"Do you mind if I take your picture?"

Obligingly they pose - smiling their forever smiles.

"How long have you been married?"

He answers with pride and love sparkling in his eyes, "Sixty-seven years."

"Wow. You just don't see that any more."

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An early morning doctor appointment finds them out and about before breakfast. He suggests eating out. She readily agrees. The little restaurant is filled with people and noise - a happy buzz of activity. They eat quietly, enjoying the delicious food.

They linger for a little while, chatting - there is always something to talk about even after nearly seven decades of conversation. He motions to the waitress. He's ready for the check.

"There is no check sir. A nice young man paid for your breakfast. He asked me not to tell you until he had gone."

They are overwhelmed by the gift - unexpected grace.

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Fourth of July weekend. My husband and I sit with them in the front row of their church. It is a special day for him. Earlier in the week he and another WWII veteran recorded a conversation with their Pastor. He spoke of his experiences, the harsh realities of war, the way the Lord spoke to his heart long before he really knew Him, the longing for the girl he left behind - the one he would spenl the rest of his life with. There were tears - I haven't seen him weep often in the years I have known him. He always seemed so strong and fearless to me. Time has a way of pulling aside the curtain and revealing the heart.

They have been a part of my life for sixty-six years. I have watched them choose to live out their vows:

"to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part." 

My Mom and Dad.

Joining my sweet friends  Laura for Playdates With God  
and Sara at Splashin' Glory


picture: Mom and Dad with their Grandson (our son)