Couple offers lesson in hope and love at busy airport


I noticed a couple as I was waiting in the security line at the Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport.

She was a well-dressed woman in her fifties with flowing, curly dark hair—accompanied by a dapper fellow with a crew cut.

Once I went through the metal detector, I noticed she was leading him by the hand—and his gait was slow and hesitant.

Then I saw her struggling to gather up their carry-on bags, so I asked if I could help.

And when I picked up the backpack, the man behind me pitched me in too, toting another bag for them.

“You’re such blessings!” she exclaimed with a huge smile.

As we headed toward the elevator, we introduced ourselves, and when I shook her husband’s hand, he grinned, but remained silent.

They were Hazel and Eric, she told me—and then whispered, “He has Alzheimer’s.”

In the brief time that our little, impromptu group journeyed toward the gate, Hazel and I formed a bond—and I instantly admired her.

Because, you see, despite what had to be a huge trial, she was upbeat and calm.

They had been married 33 years, she told me—the same amount of time I’d been married. And when I mentioned my husband had died 20 months ago, her eyes brimmed with tears.

My own eyes threatened to overflow, when I saw how tenderly she treated her husband— patiently leading him to a comfortable chair by the gate, where she shared snacks with him.

The love between them was palpable—a sign of the unbroken bond existing between husband and wife, even, as the vows state, “in sickness and in health.”

I bought a local newspaper, where columnist Michael Gerson wrote that every life has “unearned suffering or stinging injustice.”

“And then there are the unspeakable things—the death of a child, the diagnosis of an aggressive cancer, the steady advance of a disease that will take our minds and dignity.”

In such painful trials, he wrote, we have a glimpse of Jesus’ feeling of abandonment on the cross—but also realize God stands with those who suffer.

“He is forever on the side of hope.”

These words seemed a fitting testimony to the scenario of love unfolding in the airport.

After all, it was the usual scene—people dragging suitcases along, toddlers complaining, folks eating lunches while plugged into technology, checking social media.

RELATED: Goodbye, my darling love, until we meet again

But in the midst of the busy throng, this couple evoked the stirring words from a psalm: “My hope is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

They also brought to mind Christ’s words, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Before I boarded the plane, I saw Hazel again, and we hugged as we said goodbye. She promised to pray for me, and I offered her the same gift.

We were two strangers in an airport filled with travelers and probably will never meet again—at least not on this earth.

But I will never forget Hazel and Eric, and the cross they carried. Nor will I forget their silent witness to the supernatural hope God bestows on those who suffer.
OTHER NEWS: As Atlanta diversifies, Sunday isn’t the only day of worship anymore.

__

Lorraine has written eight books available on-line, most recently “Death Dons a Mask,” a humorous mystery set at a Decatur church. Her email is lorrainevmurray@yahoo.com



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer mark a musical milestone
Sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer mark a musical milestone

“Not Dark Yet” (Thirty Tigers/Silver Cross Records), the first duo album from sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer, is a powerful musical milestone in the long and winding careers of the Alabama-raised and Nashville-tested singer-songwriters. Produced by kindred spirit Teddy Thompson, the singer-songwriter son of seminal British folk-rock...
Georgia Women of Achievement seeks nominations
Georgia Women of Achievement seeks nominations

Georgia Women of Achievement board of selection is seeking nominations for next year’s induction into its hall of fame. Founded in 1992, the organization honors women who have contributed to Georgia’s history. To be nominated, a woman must be clearly identified with Georgia and have made exceptional or enduring contributions in her field...
5 ways to stop killing your back with bad posture at work
5 ways to stop killing your back with bad posture at work

"Sit up straight!" may sound like nagging straight out of the 1950s, but it's spot on advice for the 21st century workplace. Constant shifting around to get comfortable at your work computer, and hunched over a smart phone at home, wreaks havoc on your back, neck and shoulders. Regular computer users perform 50,000 to 200,000 keystrokes each...
Famous Norman Rockwell study drawing of umpires fetches $1.68M at auction
Famous Norman Rockwell study drawing of umpires fetches $1.68M at auction

An original study drawing of a famous illustration by Norman Rockwell sold for $1.68 million Sunday night in Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night Sports auction. The 1948 study, or preliminary work, for “Tough Call,” which was used as the April 23, 1949, cover of The Saturday Evening Post, belonged to the family of John “Beans&rdquo...
More HGTV ‘Flip or Flop Atlanta’ coming your way
More HGTV ‘Flip or Flop Atlanta’ coming your way

Ken and Anita Corsini named their company after the red barn their first offices were in. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com This was posted on Monday, August 21, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog HGTV has rewarded “Flip or Flop Atlanta” a quick second season renewal. Why? The first five episodes...
More Stories