For those of you that don’t know me IRL or might not follow me on Twitter and don’t listen to me tweet about it, I am a hospice volunteer director. Which means I recruit and assign people to visit hospice patients. (Hospice is health care for people that have 6 months or less to live.) It’s very, very rewarding and it’s not nearly as scary as everyone seems to think
This past week, a gentleman on our service passed away. He died of old age– his heart just finally gave out, and considering he was 95 years old that is not suprising. The unique thing about this man is that he and his wife had been married for 72 years. Can you imagine? They were married in 1937. In 1937:
+Hitler was chancellor of Germany
+FDR was sworn into his second term as president
+America was in the midst of the great depression
+The Hindenberg exploded in New Jersey
+Most people still travelled long distance by train or oceanliner
+Telephones were all partyline
+Telegram was the way to send a quick message
+Amelia Earhardt disappeared
+I always think in terms of what was going on with Cary Grant at the time. (Yes, I know I am obsessed. Don’t worry, I’m OK with it.) Cary Grant was just starting to become famous. He starred in The Awful Truth, one of the first movies to seriously launch his career.
And *this* was what your wedding party might have looked like:
See this photo’s source for gorgeous early century wedding photos.
Think about everything these people lived through as a couple. WW2, the first man in space, the 60s social revolution, women’s lib… Really, the whole world changed since they fell in love and got married.
Sergei and I are in our mid-30s, so there is probably no way that we’ll reach our 72nd wedding anniversary. But I can’t wait to see how the world changes during our marriage. I hope we’ll be old and griping about “the kids these days!” and reminiscing about the invent of cell phones, Nintendo, VCRs, and days when you actually had to get up off your hinder and change the channel yourself.
And our patient’s wife entered onto our service this week. He has been gone just a week, and she’s dying of a broken heart.