Yesterday Thing One's aunt and uncle celebrated their 66th Wedding Anniversary.
Wow. 66 years. Huge.
Where'd they spend it? His aunt is in hospice - she was somewhat aware, but who knows how much sinks in with the morphine drip and all. His uncle was sitting there, all alone, when we walked in.
Watching someone go through hospice is never easy, even less easy is what the family goes through. No one should be alone during that time, and if there's a significant day (like an anniversary or a birthday) it's even more important that someone else is there to share it. Celebrating 66 years together when one partner is in hospice? I can't even begin to imagine what that feels like.
Heck, I can't imagine being that committed to someone for that long. They've been married longer than any couple I've known (my parents will hit 55 in August), and in this day and age of easy divorce it'll get rarer and rarer for couple to reach that many years together.
There's a saying that no one knows what's going on in a relationship except for the two people in that relationship. So who knows how many sorrows and problems they've had over the past 66 years. And who knows how many joys they've had. I can imagine that one of those was not having children; I hear that they took in many of the neighborhood kids, giving them a place to hang out and share their lives when home perhaps go to be too much. They have (between them) eight nieces and nephews, and through Thing One's family 16 greats, and 7 great-greats (with one on the way). At least 10 (including partners) of those have visited over the past 24 hours.
It takes a lot to last 66 years together. It takes even more to imagine life beyond that, with one partner gone. I'm holding both in the Light, hoping that their commitment to each other lasts just a little longer, and that the end is as painless as possible for both.