Sixty three years is a lifetime for most Americans, so being married for sixty three years is nothing short of amazing. 86-year-old Henry and 87-year-old Jeanette De Lange shared their lives and their love for well over half a century, so when they became terribly ill, their children and grandchildren wanted them to be together at the end for whichever one of them passed first. Henry had been battling prostate cancer for five years and his wife, Jeanette, was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s.
As the couple both seemed to be losing ground in the battle for their lives, their family held a vigil. At 5:10 on July 31st, Jeanette passed as her family read Psalms 103. She dead very peacefully. As the family came to grips with Jeanette’s death, Keith leaned over and whispered in his dad’s ear that the love of his life was dead.
“My brother Keith said to my dad — said, ‘mom’s gone to heaven. You don’t have to fight anymore, you can go too if you want.’ He was laying in bed. He, for the first time, opened his eyes, looked intently over where mom was. Closed his eyes back down. Laid back down, died about 5 or 10 minutes after that.”
The family hadn’t even begun to mourn when, at 5:30, their father joined the love of his life in death.
“We’re calling it a beautiful act of God’s providential love and mercy. You don’t pray for it because it seems mean, but you couldn’t ask for anything more beautiful,” Lee said
But that wasn’t the end of what the family felt was the hand of God visiting their grief-stricken family.
Just as Henry passed away, the battery-powered clock on the nursing home wall ticked to 5:30 but then stopped moving altogether. It was a coincidence that the family cannot explain.
They decided it was an “Amazing sign from God that [it] was the right time.”
“Mom and dad were Christians. They loved Christ. They wanted so badly to show their love for Christ that they loved one another. It’s natural what they do. For them to be able to be a witness in life, also in death… That’s cool. Really cool,” Lee said of his departed parents.