What a Difference a Year Can Make

A year ago today, my husband and I visited my brother-in-law’s parents with him and my sister.

The Carter Family Christmas Eve 2009 – Gary, David, Gene and Roberta.

The Carter’s were married for 66 years and lived in the same little house in a nice, tidy, city neighborhood for most of their married life.

They met on New Year’s Eve 68 years ago.  Gene was a World War II veteran.  Roberta traveled to Cuba (it was prior to the embargo) when she graduated from high school.

Their wedding picture.

They had two sons, David and Gary. and one granddaughter, Sara.

Every time that I saw the Carter’s, they were holding hands.  After all the years they were together, they were still very much in love.

The last few years of their lives were hard.  They left their home to live in an assisted living facility.  Then they moved to a nursing home.  But they were still able to be together.

I am forever grateful that I remembered to bring my camera to take pictures that day.

Gene passed away on January 30, 2010.  He was 91 years old.  This was the military honor guard at his burial.

Roberta moved to Minnesota to live with my sister and her son, my brother-in-law, in April.

My sister and her husband, David.

Roberta and Gary.

Moving was difficult and an adjustment for everyone.

I visited them in June.  Mrs. Carter was doing well, but she missed her husband terribly.

I slept in the room next to Mrs. Carter, and I heard her talking to Gene all night long.

On August 21, 2010, Roberta joined her beloved Gene in heaven.  She was 88 years old when she died.

It is my wish that my husband and I are able to live as long and as fulfilling a life as the Carter’s.  That we are able to love one another tenderly until we are very old.  And that we have the love and company of our children until we die.

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