Everyone knew Vera and George were devoted to each other. “The kind of love you see in movies and think maybe doesn’t exist in the real world,” says granddaughter Stephanie Fenton.
Vera and George met when she was 15; he, 16. Now 92, George can still describe the black and white saddle shoes and jacket Vera wore the first time they met. “It was silk-ish, like if you touched it, it would get dirty.” He recalls how often they went out dancing.
After George returned from WW2, he and his young bride moved to metropolitan Detroit. Later, they built a small red cottage on a lake in northern Michigan, a favorite haunt for their four children and six grandchildren.
George carved ducks and birdhouses out of wood; Vera painted them. Their creations became treasured Christmas presents. George’s thumb was so green that his tomatoes grew as big as softballs and his sunflowers taller than the roof of his ranch home, tall enough to be seen from the street.
Vera loved flowers, especially the pink roses that bloomed on one rosebush tucked beside the patio. Vera liked to study them through a magnifying glass and revel in God’s artistry.
George and Vera had been married 66 years when Vera died 3 years ago. Stephanie—Holidays & Festivals columnist for Read The Spirit—spoke at her funeral. Her grandparents had taught her that loving someone meant waking up every day and choosing to love him to the best of her ability, she said. By the end of her remarks, most everyone in the church had tears in their eyes—even the woman playing the organ. Stephanie describes her grandparents as “two of the most inspiring people I have ever known.”
The day of Vera’s funeral, George had time to spare before leaving the house. To compose himself, he walked into the backyard. He thought about how he and Vera had enjoyed watching their grandchildren play in the yard and birds darting in and out of the bushes around the patio.
George’s gaze fell on Vera’s favorite rosebush. Although it was late October—which Michigan gardeners know is past winter’s first killing frost—George spotted a new pink rose blooming there.
He knew, he said, his beloved wife was still with him. He pinned that rose to his suit and wore it to Vera’s funeral.
(What Godsigns stories have bloomed in your life? Thanks for sharing them.)