Monday, April 12, 2010


On Saturday, Jason and I visited the new Deseret Book store in SLC during it's grand opening. We were surprised when an older gentleman approached us. He looked directly at Jason and said, "I hope you take good care of your wife." Obviously, we were both quite taken aback, and weren't really sure what to say to that. But then looking at the old man we could see the dazed expression in his eyes as he looked down at the floor (I think somewhat oblivious to us) and continued, "I buried my wife of 69 years today." As tears filled his eyes I reached over and gave him a hug while he mechanically added, "I like to think I took good care of her, but I'm sure there are things I could have done to treat her better. I buried her today after 69 years." By this time, I was crying with him. He then refocused on Jason, and said, "So that's why I say 'take care of your wife.'" I assured the man that Jason takes very good care of me. His eyes cast to the floor once again as he said, "69 years" then he trudged away with a younger man - whom I assume was his son.

Obviously, grief-stricken, I imagine that this man might have been watching us. Jason, gathering up books for his birthday while I sit on a bench right behind him. What must have gone through this man's mind? I'm obviously very pregnant at this point. He had no way of knowing if this was my first pregnancy or my fifth. I'm sure the sight of Jason and me brought back a flood of youthful memories when he and his wife were just starting their life together.

In today's society, 5 years of marriage is a milestone. Fifty years will always be celebrated as a huge accomplishment, assuming both live long enough to celebrate it. He and his wife reached nearly 20 years beyond that! I ponder on how quickly our own 6 years together has flashed by, and wonder if it feels the same for him even after all those years. And, now he's left to bury his eternal companion, waiting for who knows how long, until they can be reunited. I don't think we were much comfort to him, but he wanted to make the message very clear: don't take each other foregranted, cherish your time together, enjoy the small and simple things.

Even then, I'm sure the time passes far too quickly.


Winn & Holly Workman said...

oh my gosh...that story makes me so sad :( time does fly by fast though!

The Coons Family said...

wow that's too bad... poor guy!

Lara said...

This post made me cry. Excellent thoughts, Tiffini.


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