Doctors believe Vernon McAlister has just days left to live. He broke his hip recently, and doctors have told his children that it is a fatal injury for someone his age.
He has been in the hospice house for about three weeks. His wife is staying at the Magnolias of Anderson, an assisted-living complex nearby.
But on Sunday, they held hands, side by side.
Sue McAlister’s had trembled as she kissed her husband, cupping his chin and then smoothing his hair. Her husband looked at her with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face.
Family friend Bill French, who performed the ceremony, said a marriage like the McAlisters’ should be held up as an example for the world.
“When you took those vows all those years ago, when you said, ‘We will share our joys and sorrows as we walk through life together’ … no one could have known how long that walk would be,” French said. “You have fulfilled your promise, and God is smiling.”
Not everyone is lucky enough to get 72 years together. God has blessed them both and us with seeing them.