While all the arguments were being made, Alexander and Jeanette Toczko held hands in California. They met when they were eight years old in 1927 and fell in love. Thirteen years later they married each other. I don’t know that they paid any attention to the marriage arguments taking place at the highest level. I don’t even know if they cared. But they knew they were dying 75 years after they said their vows.
Alexander played golf into his nineties and remained active until recently when he broke his hip. Their children knew how much they wanted to be together and had their beds placed side-by-side in their home. On June 17, Alexander died in his wife’s arms. His wife hugged him and said, “See this is what you wanted. You died in my arms, and I love you. I love you. Wait for me. I’ll be there soon.”
In less than 24 hours Jeanette joined her husband in death. They were buried on June 29 in San Diego, California.
I understand a little of how Alexander and Jeanette felt about each other. This year my wife and I will celebrate our 47th anniversary. I married her when she was 19 and I was an older and wiser 22. In a little church in Freeport, Texas we promised to love and cherish each other until death.
Marriage is God’s wonderful gift to the human race. He bestowed it in the garden when He saw that Adam was lonely. God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, took from his side a rib, and fashioned the first bride. When he saw her, Adam said, ““This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:21-24).
God gave us marriage as a mysterious bond and endowed us with the awesome power to pro-create. “Be fruitful and multiply,” God said. (Genesis 1:28). And so we did. It is the one command we have been pretty good at.
A few years ago I wrote a poem in which I tried to capture my feelings:
Where did she come from?
This woman who walked into my life
When I was young,
Who joined her life to mine,
And all the time
My life was joined to hers.
Who bore my children,
Who raised them and taught them
By her example, how to love
By loving me.
How did this happen
That she became more than my lover
And my friend;
That she became my very soul.