I came across a sign in my mother in law’s apartment last week that is a timely reminder for all the men reading this column this week: Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away. The sign read “Caution, Romantic Fever”.
It was hand-painted by my late father in law for his new bride. Let me tell you the details. My mother in law was widowed on Christmas Eve, 1996 when she was 74 years old. She was exhausted after caring for her first husband during an extended battle with cancer that took his life. As she mourned after him, she thought her life was over too.
Until the following September when Sandy, an old high school friend, came through town and called to see if he could visit my mother in law and her husband. When he found out that she was widowed that started a whirlwind courtship like I’ve never seen before. He could have bought a flower shop for all the roses he sent her! As I said, that was in September, just nine months after she was widowed and thought her life was over.
By Christmas, Sandy talked mom into eloping with him to Texas where he said the marriage licenses were “A couple bucks cheaper” and there wasn’t a waiting period!
I can’t remember why but they had to travel back to NC separately where they were going to start off living in mom’s house. Somehow, Sandy arranged to beat mom back to the house to be sure she was greeted by his “Caution, Romantic Fever” sign on her front door. She loved it and in fact has treasured it all these years, especially after Sandy bid her his final farewell a few years ago.
That sign was typical of Sandy’s sense of humor. It was just a little thing but he knew mom would love it because it hearkened back to their high school days when mom missed and entire school year due to Rheumatic Fever. But all year long, Sandy brought her books and homework to her so she wouldn’t fall behind and miss a year. He thought it his “Duty” I’m sure!
Does that sound like a crazy story to you? It might but I’ll tell you this, those two loved and enjoyed each other for 17 wonderful years after mom thought her life was over. It was a beautiful thing to watch.
Men, I’ll bet your wives would love it if you did something just as crazy this Valentine’s Day to show them you were still “Crazy in love” with them too! Why not try it?
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..See you next week!
PS….. If you go to The Visiting Angel’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/VisitingAngelsMacon, my daughter in law has posted a picture of the actual sign Sandy gave to mom
Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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