More than once we learn about the power of a bond of love between two people. Here are two reported cases involving such a bond between married couples.  Both of these examples are from the state of Iowa. The first report is from  July of last year about a husband and wife who had been married for 73 years and died within hours of each other in Garner, Iowa.

Wanda Wold was born on March 24, 1925, in Merrill, Iowa, according to an obituary  She attended the St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Sioux City and became a registered nurse. After moving to Garner in 1966, Wanda eventually began working for Hancock County Public Health and the Concord Care Center – the same place she and Jim died more than five decades later.

Jim Wold was born on June 1, 1927, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, according to his obituary. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in World War II. When he returned home, he went on to work at his father’s hardware store until he switched to sales and then insurance.

James  was ninety four and and Wanda was ninety six years old when they died. They were married for 73 years. Wanda died in the morning, before her husband, at the Concord Care Center in Garner, Iowa, where she and Jim shared a room, local TV reported. “After a long life of love and faith together, a wife and her husband in their 90s died on the same day at a nursing Dan Engstler, grandson to James and Wanda Wold, posted on his Facebook this account:  God was up to something today, calling them both to heaven 15 hours apart,” Engstler wrote on the night of their passing. “Rest In Peace Grandma & Grandpa!”

One  of their three children reminisced about their 73 years of marriage. Candy Ensler said: “They called from the nursing home about 4 a.m. and said she had passed.”  Wanda World had died after battling Alzheimer’s disease for years. Ensler and her sister went to the nursing home to be with their father, who shared a room with his wife.  “He folded his hands with both of us on either side of his bed, and he said, ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for taking her, and would you please take me now too?’’

Hours later, Jim World, who was failing physically, got his wish. “About 7 o’clock, I got the call that he had also passed,” Ensler said. She says it is painful to lose both her parents on the same day, but she gets comfort from the fact her parents’ marriage was based on love and faith in God. “They were lucky and fortunate that he allowed them both to go the same day,” their daughter said. “My dad wouldn’t have wanted to be here without her, so it was a blessing.

“I just feel it was definitely their time, and the Lord called them and he called them in a beautiful way,” the daughter said. “And so, I just hang on to that.” The couple is survived by three kids, 10 grandkids and 24 great grandkids. They will be laid to rest Monday.

The other story is also from Iowa. It happened in October of 2011,. The newspaper reported that Gordon Yeager, 94, and his wife Norma, 90, left their small town of State Center, Iowa, on Wednesday to go into town, but never made it. A car accident sent the couple to the emergency room and intensive care unit with broken bones and other injuries. But, even in the hospital, their concerns were each other.  “She was saying her chest hurt and what’s wrong with Dad? Even laying there like that, she was worried about Dad,” said the couple’s son, Dennis Yeager, 52. “And he was asking about Mom.”

When it became clear that their conditions were not improving, the couple was moved into a room together in beds side-by-side where they could hold hands. “They joined hands; his right hand, her left hand,” Sheets said.  Gordon Yeager died at 3:38 p.m. He was no longer breathing, but the family was surprised by what his monitor showed.  “Someone in there said, ‘Why, when we look at the monitor is the heart still beating?‘” Sheets recalled. “The nurse said Dad was picking up Mom’s heartbeat through Mom’s hand.” “And we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, Mom’s heart is beating through him,'”  Norma Yeager died exactly an hour later. “Dad used to say that a woman is always worth waiting for,” Dennis Yeager said. “Dad waited an hour for her before he died and held the door for her.”

The inseparable couple was engaged and married within 12 hours in 1939 on the day Norma Yeager graduated from high school. “She graduated from high school on May 26, 1939, at about 10 a.m., and at about 10 p.m. that night she was married to my dad at his sister’s house,” Sheets said.  “They always did everything together,” Sheets said. “They weren’t apart. They just weren’t.” Their grandson Randy Yeager said he has been inspired in his own 13-year marriage by his grandparents’ loving and lasting marriage.

The couple were put in a casket together holding hands for their funeral this week, but are being cremated and will have their ashes mixed before burial. “All their life has been together,” Sheets said. “So, when it came to the funeral home, the family asked, ‘Can we have them put in the casket together holding hands?’ Because that’s the way their life was.”

According to their obituary,  besides their children, the Yeagers are survived by her sister, Virginia Kell, and his brother, Roger Yeager, as well as 14 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Two, really inspiring stories, about the power of love.

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