Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Love Like That

Earlier this month my family lost two of its most elder members. My great aunt Alma past, then only a few days later, on the day of her funeral, her husband, Tom, also left us.

Alma's health had been on the rocks for a while, so her passing, though still painful for the family, was not unexpected. Tom on the other hand, he was raring to go. The doctors say that he died of a heart attack. I believe it is a bit more poetic, and probably more true to say that he died of a broken heart.

Now, I'm going to preface this by saying that I did not have an intimate relationship with either of them. Seeing them at family reunions, hearing them make comments such as, "Oh, how you've grown!", and, "I remember when you were this big," (while miming rocking a baby in their arms) are about as far as my personal relationship with them goes. That being said, they had some great stories. My family tree is  large and intricate, so I won't even try to begin to clarify or tell who people are. But, his daughters? granddaughters?, either way, they absolutely adored Tom and Alma. At his funeral, three of them got up and gave, not really a speech, but a wonderful telling of some precious memories featuring Tom and Alma. The couple used to own a large chicken farm, and they worked their tails off. They would even get the kids to go gather eggs, singing the whole time.

Tom and Alma worked hard, and they loved hard. Having to spend time away from his family during WWII, Tom wrote countless letters back to Alma. She responded in kind. As they got older, they kept all of the letters in the trunk and would occasionally read them aloud to each other. How sweet is that? As they were going through Tom's things, they even found a short letter in his wallet, it read something like this (not an exact quote):

"Dear Tom,
You are the most handsome guy I know.
I am so glad that you are my husband,

That is as much as I remember, and I don't want to botch it, or not do it justice, so I'll stop there.

As Alma's health was declining, she was put in the hospital. Every day Tom would drive to see her. He would stay there as long as he could, even sleeping in a chair beside her bed at night. In the morning he would get up, go home to shower and eat breakfast, then head back over to the hospital.

If that's not dedication and commitment, I don't know what is.

What I'm getting to with this story, bittersweet as it is, is that love like that exists. God knows what is right for you, and who is right for you. And if you keep waiting, He'll give you something amazing.