CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "I'll never forget the last time I saw them together," said Trish, my former neighbor, about her in-laws, Ralph and Janet Holmes.
"They were leaving Mom's house after dinner, walking out to their car, holding hands. After all those year of marriage (53), they still held hands."
A few days later, on July 7, Ralph died in his sleep.
There's something especially touching about long-married couples who still enjoy each other's company. My own parents (coincidentally named Rolf and Janet) are that way. Married 51 years, there are still times when I'll see the two of them holding hands or catch Dad giving Mom a playful swat on the butt.
I can't imagine one without the other, and recognize how lucky I've been to witness a marriage like theirs.
My friend Debbie recently started dating a great guy named Darren, and she told me she's nervous because "everything's so easy with him." Debbie's never experienced easy before.
I told her it had been that way with me and Geoff -- that everything fell so smoothly into place, there were no awkward moments, no upsetting revelations. We brought out the best in each other, the funniest, the most thoughtful. We still do.
My conversation with Debbie reminded me of a story I'd saved. I went searching for it, wanting to share it with her, and when I finally found and read it again, I decided it was something others might benefit from reading as well.