Wilfred wooed Thelma for five years before he married her. Letters diverted from a disapproving mother didn't cool his determination. His constancy continues now from the place where she lives full time and he lives day times. Her thick brown hair is still lush, but grey. A stroke ten years ago changed the direction of what they had envisioned for their golden years. They have gone far past plans A or B.
Their view is one we can only partially empathize with as we look inside, and they look out with acceptance.
Fifty nine years of deciding to honor their vows is an epic story. The prairie yields many similar stories. The staying power of love thrives here. We have seen it up close ourselves. Too close. Perhaps roots grow extra deep in this lonely sod?
Thelma was a stunning young woman on the outside. Being in her presence for even a short while reveals a woman who is stunning on the inside, too. I was the one who felt visited. And blessed in her presence. All heaven will welcome one such as she. She stays because we need her light and love.