My husband and I were taking our evening stroll. We are relatively new to the neighborhood and look forward to opportunities to chat and get to know people better.
Ken is in the process of tidying up the landscaping around our home, so he enjoys discovering which varieties of flowers, bushes and shrubs are doing well in our neighbor’s yards.
To be honest, I just like to walk and talk and hold hands.
On a nearby street, we stopped to chat with a woman out watering her flowers. We’ve talked casually with this particular neighbor and her husband several times in recent months. Enough to know their names, but not much more. So we were shocked to hear her say,”You know I lost my husband on Memorial Day.”
That was less than two weeks ago. We had no idea.
“Fifty-eight years old. It was a massive heart attack. There was nothing they could do.”
She told us the story, her voice cracking. All the while she sprayed her roses with water from the garden hose.
The loss was so sudden. She still hopes to wake up from a bad dream. She wants to keep her home, but does not know if she can manage the property by herself.
They loved working in the yard together. They were married for thirty years. Thirty really good years, she said.
The words tumbled out, her grief still fresh. And she kept spraying the roses, bright red and in glorious bloom.
We listened. Offered words of comfort. I made a mental note to bake something and take it by soon.
After a few minutes, she looked at us standing there holding hands on the street and said simply,”Hold on tight to each other.”
Then she turned and walked up the drive toward her house.
Hold on tight. As we walked away our hands tightened in a firmer grip.
Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that marriage is a gift.
A precious gift.
And we need to hold on tight to each other.