The end is drawing nearer. We visited the florist this morning and chose the arrangements that will surround his photo at the church and following that, at the Club where we’ll celebrate his life at a luncheon in his honor with his golf buddies and the Seven Springs Golf and Country Club community. We’ll toast the two holes-in-one he made when retirement meant carefree days filled with golf and camaraderie.
We’ve collected as many photographs of their life together that we can find — as a couple, on the golf course, with their grandchildren, his children, their friends. The images of his life will be assembled into a video montage. For both of them, their lives began in earnest when they found each other some 30 years ago, later in life after each of them had endured failed marriages. But theirs was a happy partnership, a good marriage. When she received the awful diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, he kept their lives as normal as he could, maybe even at the cost of his own health. She was his everything, as he was hers. In his last moments of coherence, she held his hands as he lay there drifting in and out of sleep. He looked up at her with a steady gaze filled with love, and in a barely audible voice whispered “My Bessie”.
And my favorite photo of Bess & Paul…