Most of you probably don’t recognize the name, though a few of you do. His name was Roy Houston. In the 1980s and 90s, Pam and I went to church with him and his wife, Margaret,. He sang in the choir, but I never sat next to him. He seemed quiet but always there and serving.
I learned a great life lesson from him, and I thought of it as I read of his passing at the age of 87. Margaret, had what I think was a brain tumor and he was left to care for her for a number of years. He brought her to church each Sunday and pushed her around in a wheelchair with her hair so beautifully done and always a lovely dress. I watched him…this unknowing teacher. I heard of this unbelievable attentiveness to her every need as a caretaker, living out this well worn vow:
“to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.”
I was young in my marriage to Pam, and was struck by his perseverance through difficulty…out of real devotion, for it must’ve been very hard for him, but he did it because he loved her… deeply…and remembered his promise to her. So when I hear love spoken of…this is what comes to my mind in these late years. It is the stuff of real romance. For what then is romance, if his love was not it’s very definition. Chivalrous, an extravagant story with emotional attraction of heroic proportions.
They say that Roy had a lovely singing voice. I never heard him, but in it’s own way, his marriage, like a song, sang loudly to me. This was not a man with a lineage of position or power, but a life that was one well lived.
In these days and hours. It gives me pause to ponder his life, and also makes me think that I wish there was less quoting of great individuals..and more living like them.
So rest well buddy… and thanks for the gift you never knew you gave.