I first met my wife’s grandparents at a restaurant where Ruth says, “I knew right away he was the one for my April.” (April is now my wife.)
Perhaps my favorite memories of Bill and Ruth are Sunday afternoons spent sitting around their kitchen table soaking in the years and history and wisdom and love that they shared.
Bill wouldn’t stop telling stories and Ruth would occasionally chime in about how Bill was getting too worked up over nothing.
I’ll also never forget their sixty-fifth anniversary party.
First of all, sixty-five years in impressive in itself, but how everything happened was special.
Bill had been sick for months. He was in the hospital and a nursing home for a while trying to fight off his illness.
Their church was throwing them an anniversary party and it was rapidly approaching.
Everyone was hoping that he would be able to get out of the nursing home long enough to go to the party.
The day before their party, the nursing home said he was strong enough to go home.
It was an event I will never forget.
Bill was in a wheelchair and Ruth was pushing him around and their smiles and stories lit up the room.
It was one of those moments that sticks with you, that just seemed “right”.
There were pictures with the family, cake and punch, and a giant card that every person signed to commemorate the day.
The day after the party, Bill was sick again and had to go back into the hospital.
A couple weeks later, Bill was in in-home Hospice care.
The family knew it was close to the end and every weekend, they gathered at Bill and Ruth’s house to be with them and to be with each other.
At one point photo albums came out.
As we were looking at all their photos, something struck me.
The love they had for each other was clearly demonstrated. They were always together, often holding hands, sitting close on the couch, and always smiling. They did this for sixty-five years.
My wife and I’s third anniversary is coming up tomorrow and it causes me to reflect on marriage and love and how to do those things right.
I will forever be thankful for the example I witnessed in Bill and Ruth.
I’ve seen marriage and love done right.