In early April 2021, there was a news story about a Colorado man named Karl Waitschies and his wife of 55 years, Donna. She has been a resident at a long-term care facility for the past three years. For a year, he visited her from a windowpane outside the facility. In addition, she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and is nonverbal.

In March 2021, when Colorado lightened Coronavirus visitor restrictions at nursing homes, Karl joyously went to spend time with her. He sang "You Are My Sunshine" as she hummed along while holding his hand the entire visit.

When I heard this story on the news, it stirred up thoughts relating to the deepness of the characteristics of love and commitment. It is a blessing from God when our loved ones genuinely support us during enjoyable and difficult times. Mr. Waitschies continues to adore and devote himself to his wife, undeterred by her present reality. Like many couples worldwide, they have swam through choppy waters, but together have risen still holding hands.

I grew up listening to country music with older family members. My grandparents watched the Buddy and Kay Bain show. Accompanied with this, my great-grandmother watched old shows based on rural/country themes. As a child, I was not too fond of this music category, but I lean towards older country music as an adult.

In the song "Forever and Ever, Amen," Randy Travis sings, "They say time takes its toll on a body; Makes the young girls brown hair turn grey. But honey, I don't care, I ain't in love with your hair, and if it all fell out, well, I'd love you anyway. They say time can play tricks on a memory; make people forget things they knew. But it's easy to see it's happenin' to me. I've already forgotten every woman but you."

Travis continues singing, "Oh, darlin', I'm gonna love you forever. Forever and ever, amen. As long as old men sit and talk about the weather. As long as old women sit and talk about old men. If you wonder how long I'll be faithful, well, just listen to how this song ends. I'm gonna love you forever and ever. Forever and ever, amen."

I have been blessed to observe some extra-special couples, which gracefully embrace each of their jagged edges and attractive attributes. Relationships, where God has destined their union, and their standards are not determined by cultural norms. Relationships where character has gained victory over nature. Relationships where love and loyalty glide past the blistering effects of life's challenges.

In this respect, Randy Travis vocalized, "As sure as I live, this love that I give, is gonna be yours until the day that I die."

In relationships, we will snorkel under deep waters and smile when the radiant sun is shining. There will be times of joy and times of pain, times of sunshine and times of rain. Many people never have one person who is an anchor, peace, strength, and forever hand-to-hold in their entire earthly lives. If you have such a person, please let them know how you are extremely appreciative of the richness of their allegiance, love, and contributions.

Dr. LaShawna Fant, formerly of Houston, resides in Jackson.

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