In April of this year, I posted on my Facebook page a short, but inspiring story of dedication, of loyalty, and of love. Today, I will update that story because I believe it is a love story you will always want to remember. I know it is one that I never want to forget.
Here is what I wrote on Facebook about that love story
“My good friend Vagn is 88 years old. He was married for 63 years. During the last nine years of his wife’s life, she suffered from dementia. However, Vagn kept her home with him, caring for her every need, every day.”
“He was there beside her when she breathed her last. It was important to him that he be there to kiss her good-bye. He wanted her to know that she was loved. Vagn’s dedication to her has earned him my undying respect.”
“Tonight, April 13, 2015, Vagn and I celebrated what would have been Gerda’s 95th birthday on the second year of her passing. It was a superb meal out accompanied by a nice bottle of wine. We left the last bite of our shared dessert for her.”
“Please pray for my friend Vagn. He has earned your prayers. And please celebrate the devotion of this man to his wife. Then pray that someday you or those whom you love are wise enough to choose the kind of spouse Gerda chose those 6 decades ago when she and Vagn promised each other “until death do us part”, an oath my friend and Gerda honored.”
I have watched this love story play out before as time has ground on relentlessly since Gerda’s passing some two years ago…
Vagn and I have laughed and cried. We have spoken of life over a brandy and smoked more cigars than we should have. He and I enjoyed a friendship that is rare in its honesty. As I write these words, I am seated across from Vagn in his living room as he lays back in his overstuffed chair. He is slipping in and out of sleep, and I need to ask again that you please pray for Vagn. But this time not for his melancholy, but for God’s mercy from his physical suffering, as he maintains himself with the courage, stubbornness and dignity that have always characterized his life.
You see, my friend is now engaged in an unwinnable battle with health issues of his own. My former roommate (Christina) and/or I have sat with Vagn daily for the past seven weeks. We watch over him as he fights his fight and have been both saddened and inspired by him. We are saddened by his suffering and inspired by his still selfless concern for others.
Vagn is a remarkable man whose time is near. I don’t know whether to pray that he has more time or that he has less time. So, instead of making that choice I just pray that God’s will be done. I ask that you please pray that Vagn goes gently to be with his beloved Gerda as they reach for each others hand once again, and this time, hold on forever.