I heard in the news this week about a man who lost his beloved wife of 60 years and now refuses to sleep in the bed they shared. The reporter said that the man had always been “madly in love” with his wife. He couldn’t bear sleeping alone in the bed he had shared with his wife for 60 years.
And then I found this story:
“CLARKS SUMMIT — Here’s an example that even in times of grief, you can find some inspiration and hope.
In this case, a family in Lackawanna County lost a mother and father within hours of each other.
The couple’s amazing love story now provides some comfort during a very difficult time.
After 60 years of life together, death only kept Daniel and Virginia Fogarty of Clarks Summit apart for three hours.
The one-time high school sweethearts, the husband and wife of 57 years died the same day last week, only hours apart.
We talked with four of the Fogarty’s five children. They are coping with such a sudden loss by clinging to quite a love story.
Virginia had been sick, but Daniel’s illness was sudden and both ended up in the hospital the same day. They died a few days later.
Virginia died first. When the family told Daniel, he made the decision to refuse any more medical care. With his children around him, he died 25 minutes later.
The couple certainly left a legacy. Five kids, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. A family that will always be inspired by the love of mom and dad, grandma and grandpa.
And the family says it’s a love story that continues above.”
In this story, the man couldn’t bear this life
without his beloved wife, so he chose to join
her in the next life.
And then there are my parents, who will be celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary this coming June! They were only kids, ages 16 and 17, when they married in 1958, and within eight years they had a brood of four children, and yet they are still together and happy after all these years. How can this be?
|My parents in 1961 at ages 19 and 20. Aren’t they cute?|
|My parents in 2012, 51 years later. Again, aren’t they cute?|
I have my theory. It’s called commitment and holding true to your promises. These people took their marriage vows seriously. My parents took their roles as parents seriously. They all recognized a higher purpose for staying in their relationship beyond their own immediate gratification. They considered the lives they impacted, the lives they were responsible for, and the futures they were entrusted. On the other side of parenting, grandparenting, and careers, they found they still had each other and that the marriage bond had grown stronger.
What a legacy to leave to your own children and grandchildren! This kind of marriage commitment is rare today but not impossible. The real meaning of marital bliss may indeed be the reward two people find when they realize that 60 years have gone by and they are still just as much in love as they were the day they began.
Many times relationships end. Sometimes it is messy. Sometimes they are short-lived. Sometimes it isn’t your fault. Sometimes it is. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to find that person you could be with for the rest of your life, and say with the poet Robert Browning: “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be. . .”
Indeed something to strive for.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends!