While Buster sat and watched the cove with more devotion than most people watch their favorite reality shows, Betty did what women have always done. She multi-tasked. She kept one eye on the activity in the cove and one eye on her husband. She maintained the tidiest house I have ever seen. Until a fall last year, she stubbornly resisted any change in her daily routines. Betty wasn’t frail. She was delicate.

Unable to commit to the full-time job of having a dog of their own, Buster and Betty adopted our dog Molly as their part-time pet. Molly would peek in the windows several times a day to see her part-time parents and on more than one occasion, she let herself in their house. We knew Molly was treated to an entire hot dog daily. It wasn’t until Molly’s weight began to tip the scale that we learned she was being treated to large amounts of daily meat scraps. Buster and Betty spoiled Molly, but Molly would have loved them the same without the treats. Molly is an excellent judge of character.

While Buster gruffly spoke his mind, Betty rarely spoke a stern word about others. Instead, she furrowed her brow to express disapproval. Her eyes couldn’t hide worry. Her shoulders rose and fell to communicate daily stresses. When Betty smiled at you, you smiled back.

Buster and Betty were childhood sweethearts who shared 61 years of marriage before illness took him from her on June 9th of this year. While Buster left this Earth slowly, Betty left abruptly. Just four months after Buster, complications from an injury were insurmountable for Betty. Betty returned to her husband’s side this week. I choose to believe that Betty’s body would have stubbornly lingered if she hadn’t been confident that her children had the strength to endure losing both parents so very close together. I will still cry every time Molly walks circles around the empty house trying to find Buster and Betty.

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