After George retired in 2007, we moved to an apartment complex. I’d often see a fragile elderly man walk down the sidewalk and head to the nursing home across the street–every day at the same time. Then I’d see him walk back to his apartment a few hours later. Sometimes when our paths crossed, we’d chat. Speaking with a fairly strong Italian accent–a first generation American–he told me he visited his wife of sixty years every day. Then he’d open his wallet and show me their wedding picture, a photo of a very young couple wearing formal but very dated clothing and looking extremely solemn.
“She was the best wife I ever had,” he said every time he showed me that picture.
The first time he said that I asked, “How many wives have you had?”
“Just one,” he said. “And she was the best wife I ever had.”
A few years ago, he told me she’d died. He still walked over to the nursing home to talk with friends, but his wife was gone. He still showed me that wedding photo. Every time he told me she was the best wife he ever had.
I think that is one of the best love stories ever. How amazing for elderly couple who are sick and in nursing homes, who’ve been together for seventy or eighty years still love each other so much. We believe love is for the young. Wrong! Love that lasts for years is the best kind.
Yesterday I was told that he died ten days ago. I never knew his name. We called him the Italian gentleman and admired him for his care for his wife. I can’t help but believing he’s now in the presence of not only his Savior but will be with the very best wife he ever had. And they will be together throughout eternity.
Have you ever met a couple like this? Did they inspire you?