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Posts Tagged ‘seventy year’

The screen door to the porch of the house at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum opened. Richard carefully led his wife Margaret down the ramp, gently holding her up with his left arm. They made their way to one of the plastic tables along the railing, and Richard helped Margaret get into one of the chairs facing the Connetquot River. He then quickly went back inside to get their lunch.

Sitting two tables down from them at my own table, eating my lunch and doing homework, I saw Richard return to their table carrying a tray of sandwiches and tall cups of lemonade. His cap told me he had served on a ship during World War II.

Returning to the table, he sat next to his patiently waiting wife. He then removed the paper from a straw, poked it through the cover on the lemonade, and held it to his wife’s lips as she sipped. A slight nod from her indicated she had enough, and he put the cup down. Breaking a piece off the sandwich, he helped her put it into her mouth, encouraging her to chew carefully. He continued to do this until she shook her head for “no more”. He helped her take another sip from her cup. Richard then put a straw into his cup, took a long drink on this extra warm day, and ate half his sandwich.

All the while as Margaret sipped and ate, Richard kept up a steady conversation, pointing out the kayaks and swans on the water, the geese on the lawn, and the osprey swooping in the sky above. When she wasn’t sipping or chewing, Margaret had a serene smile on her face. As Richard ate his lunch, Margaret continued to look out at the River, still smiling.

It was time for me to leave, and I packed up my notebook and textbook into my backpack. I smiled at the couple as I was walking past.

“Did you enjoy your writing?” Richard asked me. I indicated that yes, I had, and commented on his cap. The conversation continued as he proudly shared that he and Margaret had known each other since 1938, when he was at MIT and she was attending Simmons College. Margaret smiled. Richard repeated twice that it was Margaret who helped him through MIT’s program, the War, and how she took care of him and their children. He shared that Margaret has always loved coming to the Arboretum, and they have lunch there at least once a week, even though she’s been sick. We conversed a little more, then I said goodbye to each of them and headed across the lawns and gardens to the car.

As I walked, I realized how Christ was in each of those beautiful people, who had gone through over 70 years of life together. Richard had made it a point to make sure that others saw Margaret not as a handicapped person, but as a child of God, who was loved and valued by Him.

© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011

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