Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ruth and Harry: A Love Story

This is one of my first blog articles. In fact, it wasn't even written as a blog article! I didn't even have a blog at that time! After writing this, and sharing with the couple's family, I decided that I wanted to share with a wider audience this and so many other amazing experiences that God brings to me, and how they impact me to be a better human being.

And so, with a little editing, without further adue, my re-post:

Ruth and Harry: A Love Story

Sometimes the universe gives us opportunities that enrich our lives. God has placed beautiful experiences in our everyday lives, but they are not always obvious. Don’t forget to look for them, and see them!

On this particular day, my teenage son and I had a brief verbal exchange that sunk my heart. I grabbed my camera, and left him at home without saying a word. As a form of therapy for me, I went looking for beautiful things to photograph, and within two blocks of home, I found something so sweet, and beautiful it brought a tear to my eye. OK, not hard to do considering my already tender emotional state at that moment, but even now, the beauty of the moment wells in my heart.

Walking, totter-ishly slow, yet steadily up the hill near my home, was an older couple holding hands.

Not altogether unusual in my tiny little town, one might think, until the realization that this was no ordinary couple. I thought to myself, “Those are someone’s Great Grandparents!” I love great-grandparents! They are one of the most wonderful inventions of our Creator!

I parked my car at the playground just ahead of them, grabbed my camera, and got out of the car.

As I approached, I could see that not only were they holding hands, but their fingers were laced together in the romantic way that lovers do! I could see in their cantor that they were quite in tune with each other. They emanated a kind of symbiosis that only comes with great time, care, and love.

As I approached them, I introduced myself, and asked their names. Ruth and Harry.

As we chatted, I learned that they had been married 63 years! A remarkable feat that makes me proud and I had only just met them! They had lived in our little town their entire lives. As have their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Their son-in-law and adult granddaughter were on their own walk across the street from our conversation, and came protectively over to ascertain who might be photographing their beloved family members.

Through our conversation I learned that the couple went walking most everyday. As her vision had dramatically diminished, Harry read the newspaper to Ruth every morning while she cooked him breakfast in her familiar kitchen. Harry and Ruth are quite highly regarded by the community, and have received several commendations over the years for various community activities and services.

At first, they seemed a little unsure as to the sentiment that so enamored my attention; to them this was just a normal, ordinary, condition. Nonetheless, the pair consented to my request to capture the moment. I took a couple of pictures of their faces that display the sparkle still held in Ruth’s now blind eyes!

I asked to photograph their entangled hands, as that is what intrigued me to stop. I captured a picture of clasped hands; warn from years of work and weather.

As we continued to visit, Ruth and Harry’s fingers instinctively sought the other; and they were again, as intended by the ties-that-bind, laced together.

I went away from that experience filled with a kind of love for this couple; filled with inspiration; filled with gratitude to Ruth and Harry, for allowing me to have just the tiniest moment in their lives. Harry went home to be with his Lord just two weeks after our encounter. A lasting and loving legacy he left behind.