Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13
My wife and I visited a WWII Veteran this weekend. Mos has been a friend of ours for almost two decades. He is a former Marine who served in Okinawa, among other places. One of the things he lost while defending this country was his hearing. All the explosions and big guns took a real toll on him. I’ve heard it said that Mos couldn’t hear it thunder.
When Mos had to give up driving a few years back, we often picked him up and took him to church. He had some deep wisdom on life and we thoroughly enjoyed our visits. His faith in the Lord was rock-solid, and he loved the Lord unswervingly, no matter what life dealt him.
One of Mos’ pleasures in life was his pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and just about any time a pie would show up at his doorstep. As long as there was plenty of whipped-cream around, he was good to go.
Mos was married to the same woman for 62 years. Some time ago, his beloved Betty was in the hospital. Although I had many things to do that day, I felt a tugging on my heart to drop in and visit with her and Mos. I will forever be grateful that I did. Betty was in a bad way and Mos seemed a bit numb. I found a Bible and was blessed to read a lot of Scripture over Betty. Mos kept silent vigil while I read.
When one of the nurses came in to check on Betty, she gently informed Mos that his wife would not live much longer – the end was drawing near. Mos slowly nodded his head as he studied his wife lying in the hospital bed. No family showed up, and I was determined not to let Mos go through this long night alone. We waited a few more hours as green and red monitor lights gently settled down to zero.
Betty took her final breath. Peace at last. Mos sat by the side of her bed and studied the face of the woman with whom he’d spent most of his life. Finally he said something to her. I’m not sure, but I think he told her that it had been a good day. I believe he meant that he wouldn’t have wanted Betty to be the one left – he wouldn’t have wanted her heart to hurt the way his was now. Then Mos told me he didn’t know what to do. He asked me what he should do next. The nurse assured us they would take care of everything. I drove Mos home where he quietly retired to his bedroom while I slept on the couch.
Mos is wheelchair-bound now, and has been for quite a while. When we visited him recently, his face lit up when he awoke and saw us. As my wife and I conversed with him, Mos studied us and smiled. Over and over he repeated two words:
After all he’d done as a member of the armed forces to help protect me and my freedom, that is and was quite humbling. We had only given a few moments of our time to visit an old friend, that was all. He’ll be with Betty soon enough, and that will be a very good day.
Thank you to all who are now serving and have served to protect this country – and to your families as well.