Tuesday, August 29, 2006

In Honor of an Old Man

This weekend my wife and I drove 1,600 miles for a birthday party. It was her father's 80th. His children rented a room at the local Holiday Inn and set up six tables. We were a little concerned, frankly, that few would show because the church was having an annual all-church pick-nic up in the mountains and, well, Wayne doesn't attend much anymore. You see, his wife has been in the nursing home for seven years and is well beyond her last conversation. Wayne's entire life is consumed with her care. He attends to her every morning until lunch when he feeds her. Then he returns in the afternoon to walk her and feed her again. In the evening he goes home exhausted to an empty house, spent on a woman who may never know he was there and certainly will never reciprocate. This has been his existence for the better part of a decade. He has no social life, no interaction with friends, no hobbies. He can't talk about the news because he doesn't watch it, and why should he? His world is in a wheel-chair. Oh, yea, the party. From nearly the moment we opened the doors at two until we cleaned up at four, the room swarmed with old friends from the church. Apparently they had not forgotten an old man who had been ostensibly severed from their fellowship. They honored him, not for the years he spent as a business man in Montrose, not for his decades of being an elder, but for years of selfless sacrifice to a woman to whom he made a promise over sixty-two years ago, "For better, for worse . . ."


Anonymous Tony Anderson said...

Incredible. People like this 80 year old man cause me to re-evaluate what it truly (and completely) means to take up the towel and basin.

August 29, 2006 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger shane said...

…when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. -Luke 14:13-14

August 30, 2006 at 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'll bet this'll make someone think twice before marriage.....tony!!!

September 5, 2006 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger Daniela said...

Why did this story make me cry? I guess it's what I desire for my own marriage forty to sixty years from now. No wait, it's what I desire for my marriage today. How do you do that?

September 6, 2006 at 11:08 AM  

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