Love…always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.—1 CORINTHIANS 13:7 (NIV)
When I visited my aunt in her senior-living facility, I noticed a couple sitting in the dining room—a resident and her husband, who came to visit her every afternoon. The man cupped a harmonica in his hands and played while his wife looked straight ahead. Did she remember her husband? I wasn’t certain, but the music must have been meaningful, maybe even familiar.
I was so enchanted by the man’s demonstration of love and devotion that I shared the story often, which is how I discovered that he and his wife were the parents of a friend from church. She told me that the 97-year-old Mr. Carl had learned to play the harmonica aboard ship during WWII, shortly after leaving his new bride stateside. For nearly 70 years, his music was as much a part of their marriage as the two of them, and now his music was part of his caregiving for her.
I listened to Mr. Carl play his harmonica for his wife on afternoons for several years, and got to know him well enough that I invited him to my daughter’s wedding. His jitterbugging at the reception almost stole the spotlight away from her, but that was okay. We all knew what a wonderful example of love Mr. Carl provided for all of us.