Larry and Roberta were not your typical couple;
Their marriage didn’t fit a cookie-cut mold.
They met after seasons of bareness,
In fall, before the warm earth turns cold.
This year marks the thirty-fifth of their union,
Each one a celebration of unfeigned love;
Today, gentle autumn winds would whisper,
Like sweet celestial voices above.
In youth they embarked on their journey,
And they voyaged for eighty plus years;
Partaking of life’s luscious bounty,
Sprinkled with bitter-sweet tears.
Their marriage was blessed in so many ways,
Growing strong in faith and intimacy;
They clung inseparably to each other,
As vines cling to the gnarled oak tree.
The youthful tones yielded to silver
As age-wrinkles soon took command;
Good health for them fell day by day,
As do the tiny grains of hourglass sand.
Oh, how Larry loved his sweet Roberta.
Losing her became his greatest fear;
He talked to her in endless conversation,
Although Roberta no longer could hear.
Sickness was mastering Larry’s direction,
As a tiny leaf being twirled by the wind;
Constant falls brought concern to the children;
His sharp memory showed signs of the end.
For hours, he would stare at a blank TV
And not know when he last had a meal;
He couldn’t remember his medication,
As spring makes one forget winter’s chill.
The doctor was concerned for his safety and
Suggested where dad could be placed.
But we kids needed to get his approval;
While we talked--over the floor, dad paced.
As tender shoots depend on sunshine,
On her wisdom, he always relied.
For years, they did all things together;
Now, with Roberta, he had to confide.
Finally, with our voices pleading,
He nimbly arose to leave the room.
Told us he’d have to speak to Roberta;
His voice revealing certain gloom.
From our places, we heard him talking;
In his voice you could sense the pain.
But soon the conversation ended and
He came into our presence again.
In his hand he held a worn out suitcase
Filled with old newspapers and the air.
He said, “Your mom says she wants me to go,
And thinks I’ll be happy down there.
I told her I would if she would go with me.
She promised she’d never leave my side.
So, we’re all packed and ready to go.”
With that, we broke down and cried.
Then Larry took one final look around
At the home where eternal love grew;
He said as he took hold of my hand,
“I guess we’ll be going with you.”
Outside, winds of autumn caressed
This couple as I drove them away.
Larry then kissed Roberta’s face,
Then gently put her picture away.
Dedicated to Larry and Roberta's family.