I spent some time with an older friend (I’ll call her “Jill”) this week. She lives by herself now, and we have not seen each other for several years. Her husband died earlier this year after a long illness. In his last few months, he was moved into a nursing facility for round the clock care.
While we were chatting, I asked Jill about caring for her husband for many years and what stood out in her noble service to him as he died. She replied,
“I think he knew he was going to die on the day he did. I sat with him in his room and we were reminiscing about our 50 years of marriage. He looked at me and asked, ‘Honey, will you just lie next to me in the bed here for a few minutes?’ So I got in the nursing home bed alongside him, and we held each other for a little while.”
“We reminisced about the first bed we shared after our marriage. It was just a twin bed. And we laughed and remembered that tiny bed and those days so long ago. I got out of the bed and went home that evening. While I was gone, he had a heart attack and died.”
Jill’s precious memory stirred something deep within me about the dignity and meaning of a marriage that lasts a lifetime. One filled with highs and lows, but one rooted in a deep love and affection for one another and for God. Kind of reminded me of Hebrews 13:4 – Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure.
Here’s to a marriage well-done and what it teaches the rest of about fidelity, love, and virtue.