The old lady carefully helped her aging husband into bed. He was getting more and more frail as the days past. She hated what age and time was doing to him but for her it was always a labor of love.
Once settled she crawled in beside him and asked him if he wanted her to tell him one of their stories.
As always he said yes. His body was failing him but his mind was still its agile old self.
She had a tale she loved to tell him knowing he would listen avidly, holding her hand the entire time.
It was the story of a time when a young girl first met a strapping young man on his visit to her town. As she went through the tale the old man would smile at the bits of the story he remembered so clearly. She had been and still was a beautiful girl, who when he asked her if she would marry him replied she would do so in a heartbeat.
The story the old lady told recounted their days living in the bush, miles from civilization where the two of them had learned to be independent and to rely on each other. More than that, they grew to understand the strengths of each other.
The old lady always included one incident where things had not always gone to plan. Like the night they invited their neighbours to dinner and despite her best efforts, she was still a young bride at the time, the chicken she had fussed over all the afternoon had not for some inexplicable reason cooked right through and so she suffered the embarrassment of a not cooked chook. At the time it was very traumatic and she vowed to never invite a single soul to dinner ever again. But time is a great healer and now days they always had a good laugh remembering such times. She recalled the time the old man had said he would build a window box and spend a day measuring, cutting, gluing and nailing and double checking everything only to find the box was still two inches too long. He was so disgusted at the time he vowed never to build anything again and unceremoniously dragged the over-long window box outside and with his power saw cut the offending end off. His ego was bruised to say the least. She did remind him that the next thing he built, a shoe box, was perfect and still in use.
They lay together remembering and reminding each other of this event and that. Still with hands held the old man looked across at his aging bride who turned to look at him. He asked her if she had her time over would she still sign up to a life with him.
With a twinkle in her eye she replied: “In a heartbeat.”