Till Death do us part

A devoted Iowa couple married for 72 years died holding hands in the hospital last week, exactly one hour apart.The passing reflected the nature of their marriage, where, “As a rule, everything was done together,” said the couple’s daughter. Gordon Yeager, 94, and his wife Norma, 90, left their small town of State Center, Iowa, on Wednesday to go into town, but never made it. A car accident sent the couple to the emergency room and intensive care unit with broken bones and other injuries. But, even in the hospital, their concerns were each other.

“She was saying her chest hurt and what’s wrong with Dad? Even laying there like that, she was worried about Dad,” said the couple’s son. “And his back was hurting and he was asking about Mom.”When it became clear that their conditions were not improving, the couple was moved into a room together in beds side-by-side where they could hold hands.”They joined hands; his right hand, her left hand,” Gordon Yeager died at 3:38 p.m. He was no longer breathing, but the family was surprised by what his monitor showed.”Someone in there said, ‘Why, then, when we look at the monitor is the heart still beating?'” Sheets recalled. “The nurse said Dad was picking up Mom’s heartbeat through Mom’s hand.””And we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, Mom’s heart is beating through him,'” Norma Yeager died exactly an hour later.”Dad used to say that a woman is always worth waiting for,” Dennis Yeager said. “Dad waited an hour for her and held the door for her.”            Story – Tim SJ

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