Most families are spending a lot more time together than usual during this coronavirus crisis. That’s not the case for a Columbus couple who’s been married over 70 years.
Let me introduce you to Murray and Barbara Bradfield. This precious couple is allowing their everlasting love to bridge the physical barriers that are keeping them apart.
Murray lives at Covenant Woods retirement community in Columbus. Barbara is battling Alzheimer’s and lives five miles away at Brookdale memory care.
Murray remembers when they first met. Barbara was on the other side of a dance hall when she caught Murray’s eye. He recalls asking one of his friends, “I wonder who that girl is?” His friend went to find out. That led to their first dance and they’ve been in lock step ever since.
The young couple got married in LaGrange. “She’s made a difference in my life. We have had a lot of good times together. We’ve had a few bumps in the road but we got over them pretty quick,” says Murray.
Monday afternoon the folks at Covenant Woods drove Murray over to see Barbara at Brookdale. They were part of a drive-by visit that included perhaps a dozen vehicles. Other folks were there to see their relatives. Many held signs of endearment for their loved ones to read.
The one sign that captured Murray’s attention was in the precious hand of his sweet Barbara…their seven decades of marriage distilled into three short, powerful words…I love you.
Barbara was waiting for Murray wearing her required mask. But nothing can mask the power of their love for each other. Murray says when he sees her, “It just lightens me up, takes away my fears and worries. I feel content and happy to be around her.”
One fear that haunts Murray has to do with Barbara’s memory. “I kept being afraid that if this thing went on long enough, when I did see her she may not even know me. That’s been one of the big concerns.”
Murray knows he can cast his cares on the Lord. He teaches a Bible study at Covenant Woods, and he’s convinced that his marriage has had God’s blessing.
“He’s protected us. He’s watched over us. He’s kept us out of trouble. He’s given us three good children.” And Murray is praying to God that this coronavirus will end soon so he and Barbara can resume their lifelong dance.