WW2 Vet Finds Love Blooms Forever

George and Vera 1

Photo of George and Vera by Stephanie Fenton

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.

Just one.

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.)

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7 thoughts on “WW2 Vet Finds Love Blooms Forever

  1. Cindy La Ferle

    What a beautiful, heartwarming post! As a woman who’s been married 34 years to her high school sweetheart, I found myself wiping tears before I got to the last sentence. And then I shed some more. Thank you, Suzy, for reminding us that love is everything, and that it endures.

  2. Jackie Blanchard

    George and Vera brought back so many wonderful memories of my parents. We used to call them “the lovebirds” – never and unkind word or action, just love and devotion. Suzy brought out my heartwarmed tears, once again!

  3. Bobbie Lewis

    Lovely story! When my dad was alive, he travel from Houston to Detroit every Passover to visit us. Even though it was spring — sometimes late March but usually April, it always snowed while he was here, anything from six inches to just a few flakes. Coming from the South, he didn’t react well to the cold weather. He’s been gone eight years now, but whenever it snows around Passover — as it almost always does — we know that my dad is making his usual visit.

    1. Suzy Farbman

      Our world is so interconnected. Natural phenomena trigger our emotions and awareness. Enjoy the snow.

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