She also told me about how she had passed her ring down to the oldest daughter and one day she realized she missed wearing it on her finger. Her husband had been long gone from this world, but she desired to let everyone know that she was still married. Although she could have married someone else, she told me that her late husband, Alvin, was the only man who could truly hold her heart. She struck me as being as madly in love with him today as she has ever been, probably even more. The picture above is actually her hand and ring, taken at the end of my visit. Her daughters bought her this wedding band as a reminder of a love that never died. She gave me permission to tell this story and use their names.
Ms. Betty Wheeler met Alvin the same way many of us did, riding his bus. For some of us, he was a school bus driver, for her, he was the driver of a passenger travel bus. Ms. Betty longs for the day that she will embrace him once again and tell him everything that has happened since he left, but until then, she will talk to his picture, give it a kiss, and smile knowing that her man still holds her heart, long after going Home.
As I processed the story, sitting in her living room, it made me think of conversations that I have had with many young couples over the years. This conversation has even become one that I have had in my own home. What would someone do, if their spouse died? For some, they get remarried and there isn't anything wrong with that. For others, they choose to go it alone, spending the rest of their days experiencing life with the memories of their best friend close to their heart.
The love that Ms. Betty has for Mr. Alvin is something that I think I have only seen in the romantic movie The Notebook. Listening to her share was to hear something out of a well-written love story, suitable only for the big screen. But not so, in fact, it is the true story of a love that will never die. The rest of us can only hope to be so madly in love as we reach those later years of life. Some of us have work to do.