Ever notice how good theology is found in life and not the bible. This week, Fred’s wife died suddenly. He tried his best to be with her, but somewhere between Sidney and Victoria on a Handy Dart Bus she drifted out of this world across the threshold into what I can only imagine as infinite mystery.
Fred is ninety-four and in this past year has been like that wobbly toy you had as a kid, no matter how hard you tried to stand it up, it would fall over. An old war wound, years of hard work and worn out parts had taken their tole. Alice eighty-nine, diagnosed with renal failure a few years earlier spent as much time in the hospital, as she did at home. Dialysis three times a week, a constant fight with fatigue after the treatments left her with little energy to care for Fred. Fred ended up moving into an extended care facility about 10 or so miles away.
I can’t imagine how devastating this had to have been after living, eating, sleeping...hugging and kissing the same person for almost seventy years. Last week Alice, getting of the bus that transports her to her dialysis, fell and broke her hip. Even without this accident Alice’s life from day to day was fragile.
Fred arrived at the hospital not knowing Alice had passed away. There was a reception of social workers, nurses and doctors...I suspect by the crowd Fred new something was up. They told Fred the news in the most humble, loving and compassionate way they could. There really is no easy way...no words really buffer anyone from the shock. Fred, hunched over lost it. Like a ballon suddenly punctured, life seemed to leak out of him. People helped steady Fred before he collapsed.
With help, they took Fred into Alice’s room. He shuffled over to the bed, and took Alice’s hand and climbed-up onto the bed beside her. He hugged, and kissed her...tears rolling down his face he couldn’t stop kissing her.
It is a very sad story, but this image has captured my mind this week. Thinking about love. Jesus, this profound mysterious God-man that mused, “ God is love.”
This image of Fred blew my mind, this act of endless love. Maybe in the most profound deepest sense Fred’s love, their love...all love is eternal. Maybe, just maybe it is only “ love “ that crosses the threshold of this life into the next.
We fight, we argue to believe certain things to get across the threshold into eternity, when the reality is...all we have to is love.
As mysteriously as Jesus did...thank you Fred for showing us the way.