Parting with love in the twilight of life
Saturday,November 25 2006, must have been the most dreadful day for Uncle George.At about 5.30pm I got a call from him and over the phone between sobs he said “Doctor, Aunty Grace is dead.I’m all alone now”. He was not able to continue futrher.All I could do was to console him over the phone and headed to visit him as soon as I could.
When I arrived at his place he came forward, hugged and cried. That was the first time I have ever seen him cry. As I had said God’s greatest gift to him was his perpetual cheerfulness. Even between sobs I could see him trying to laugh.
He kept on repeating that he is all alone and there is no one to keep him company. After the funeral was over, he insisted to stay in his house all alone so that he could live with all the fond memories of his wife of 60 long years. In fact he had made arrangements to celebrate his 60th.anniverasary on 28 December 2006 but the Lord had other plans for him instead. I still remember what he told me at our first meeting,
“This year I am 86 and my wife is 82.If we can live till 28.12.06 we will be married for 60 years and we can live to celebrate our diamond jubilee. Yes, you know doctor true love begins when we grow old; I think I love my wife more than I first met her. But soon we will have to part”.
Yes, now the time he dreaded most had come. The dear love of his has parted and he is all alone in this world.
In the days that followed this elderly gentleman at the age of 87 kept on complaining he has no appetite and had sleepless nights thinking of his late wife. He kept writing to me week after week narrating how he was finding it hard to forget her which I think he should not. He prayed and prayed every night that God will unite him soon with his wife.
He even went to the extent in saying how he wished he could preserve aunty Grace in a glass coffin so that he can keep seeing all the time. I was really touched by depth of his love for his wife
As I have said the greatest fear of man is his loneliness, more so when it comes at the twilight of his life when you are drained out of all your physical strength.
Uncle George is just one fine example. There are hundreds, probably thousands of such lonely people around us - in our neighborhood, in our parish, in our place of work and even in our own families.
As Christians are we on the look out for such people who yearn for our company? Some of us may be too busy with our work that we do not recognize them although they are in our midst. All we do is recite a few decades of the rosary or offer a short prayer, but is that enough? Christ I’m would expect more from us than that.
In a world where marriage is not sacred anymore and couples resort to divorce for the slightest problem, the love of Uncle George for his wife of 60 years touched me in many ways. I am resolved to emulate him in my life as well. It further strengthens my firm belief that our spouse is Christ’s selected gift to us and we must treasure them till deaths do us apart.
I hope many, especially married couples, would visit Uncle George not just to console him but to learn from his experiences of 60 years of happily married life. Let us see Jesus waiting for us in the form of Uncle George to guide us with our matrimonial wows.
May God bless Uncle George with many more years of healthy life so that he can continue to be a shining example for all of us.