Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Making God smile

Will you permit me to record another love story that will warm the cockles of your heart?

Vernon McAlister and Sue, who was to be his wife, met while both were working on Vernon's father's farm in South Carolina. They married when he was 20 and she was 15.

The years passed by. When he was 92 and she was 87, Vernon fell and broke his hip. Doctors at the hospice where he was taken said he would not live long.

Then Vernon had a dream. In the dream, his wife Sue was in a room decorated with lace. She stood near a window, bathed in sunlight, dressed in a lace gown and veil, waiting for him to marry her again.

He asked the nurses to help him stay alive a few more days, so he could celebrate his 72nd wedding anniversary with his wife.

The day after his anniversary, said IndependentMail.com, they had a second wedding ceremony. Vernon lay in bed dressed in a smart shirt and tie. His wife stood by the bed in a pink gown and white veil, carrying a bouquet of roses. With their five children looking on, they renewed their wedding vows.

Said Vernon: "My father told me she would make a good wife. I couldn't have imagined how right he was. She is just purely wonderful. She is a jewel."

Said Sue of her husband: "He has taken care of me my whole life. He has loved me and respected me and cherished me the way he said he would when I was just a young girl and he was just a young man.

"We have not always had an easy life. But if you put God first, you can endure and your marriage can endure."

Retired pastor Bill French, a friend of the family who conducted the ceremony, said they were an example to the world. "When you took those vows all those years ago, no one could have known how long that walk together would be. You have fulfilled your promise, and God is smiling."

A few days later Vernon McAlister died, his wife at his bedside.