John and Alice’s love story began over 70 years ago when she was just fifteen and he was sixteen. From their first date at the movies onward, they only had eyes for one another. They walked through life side by side, standing on the foundation of their faith in the Lord, and facing everything together.
Just three weeks before their 66th anniversary, they spent a perfect day together. Both remarked it had been the best day they had shared in ages. They walked in and out of a doctor’s appointment hand in hand, in and out of a restaurant for dinner hand in hand, and waved goodbye to their granddaughter hand in hand from the garage that evening.
Less than an hour later, John and Alice were watching the Padres together, just as they loved to do – sitting on the couch holding hands. And when a valve of his heart burst causing his heart to instantly fail, it seemed only fitting that his last conscious moments had been spent side by side and hand in hand with the love of his life.
In the days that followed, Alice steadfastly spoke of her confidence of God’s graciousness in giving them such a great last day together and that wonderful evening, of His sparing John from unnecessary pain and suffering, and His goodness in allowing John to be whole and healed in Heaven, away from the ravages of the Alzheimer’s that had been progressing and impacting his life and personality. While she would miss him tremendously, she was also at total peace in knowing that John would soon be free and home in Heaven.
The doctors and nurses in the ER, ICU, and the hospital floor heard Alice’s repeated resolve and assurance in the certainty of John’s salvation and marveled at her conviction. Over and over she proclaimed with confidence that soon he would be in Heaven with Jesus, and, that one day, she would see him again. Even in the face of her greatest loss, that of the love of her life, Alice boldly proclaimed her faith in the Lord, which had also been the foundation of their marriage.
Three days later, Alice was sitting by John’s bedside in the hospital again, joined by two of her pastors. As they prayed, Alice was by her beloved’s side, laying her head against his cheek, holding one of his hands in her own. And, as one pastor prayed, the other looked up and realized that John had peacefully taken his last breath. There was no struggle, no gasping, nothing – just a peaceful transition from his worn, weary, and broken earthly body, with his beloved wife holding his hand by his side just as they vowed, ‘til death us do part,’ until he went to be with Jesus.