This is a departure from my Advent postings but I wanted to write a tribute to a dear friend's husband.
While I was Christmas shopping yesterday afternoon, I stopped past the church office. Kathy told me they tried to call me but we weren't home. They had received a call from the daughter of a close friend of ours. Our friend, Mary Emma had lost her husband, Bernard. He died through the night Sunday.
Bernard served in the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was a cook in the CCC and also cooked during his tour of duty in the US Army during World War II. He turned 91 years old last July. He is the last of his siblings to die.
He and Mary Emma were married for 65 years. They came to the Midwest in 1946. They each got hired by factories here in town. He retired from his job. She worked until they knew they were going to have a baby. They had a daughter, then they had a set of twin girls. They moved back to their home state of Virginia a little over 15 months ago.
Bernard liked to fish. About the time he retired,they bought a trailer at a lake in the northern part of Indiana. After we got to know them, we discovered he was a Chicago Bears fan. If the Indianapolis Colts were playing and he knew the Bears were playing, he'd drive up to their trailer to watch his team play.
Before ill health took over, Bernard would walk around the lake at the city park in our area. They lived like two blocks from the park. The lake is actually two lakes connected by a waterway. It's about 3 miles around it. (I'm guessing the distance.)
In his better days, Bernard planted a garden. Sometimes with another man. He always shared the vegetables he harvested. He brought us tomatoes. He introduced us to the multi-colored ones. He called them Pineapple tomatoes. I enjoyed the yellow ones, as well.
One day he drove past our house. He saw us doing something around a car. Our son was going on vacation. A few minutes later, our phone rang. It was Mary Emma. “Did Roger (our son) get a new car?” I answered, “NO, he rented a car to go on his vacation.” Well, she told me Bernard was excited when he got home. He told Mary Emma that Roger had gotten a new car. I still chuckle when I think of that.
We are thankful his struggle is over.