With his own hands he built their six room house for $ 3400. When the mortgage was paid off--$ 150 a month--they said they were free at last.
When he died 12 years ago, she started doing the things he did not approve of or did not enjoy with her, like going to movies and playing cards to her heart's content. She did this without one shred of guilt or remorse.
She lost most of her memory a few years ago while helping the family dog jump on the family bed. When she hurt her back all it took was one day's worth of narcotic pain meds to erase her short term memory and replace it with a zest to live fully anyway.
He stills visits in the flowers.
She loves her life.
When she fell and broke her hip, all she can remember is yelling "help, help". She tells this part of the story with a smile and a joyful rendition of the "help help" part.
She is in a nursing home for the first time in her life preparing to walk without harm or pain so she can go back home and read and play cards.
Don't tell her she can't be independent because she will glare at you.
They were married for 56 years. She is not sure about reunions in heaven because "What about people who were married to more than one person? How would those reunions work?", she asks.
She's my Mom and he's my Dad. They did right by me for all these years and for that reason alone, I will willingly return the favor.