My Story, Yours Too.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Paradise Lost, Heroism Gained

Dear Sillies,
It's time to say what we say every year: "I can't believe the holidays are here already!" Note: I'm not adding the traditional profanity - this is a family establishment.
I am, however, adding a very sweet dose of inspiration.
   Meet Joe and Jenny. Ssh, they don't know I'm posting this. Neither does my friend, Keith, who took the photo.  But it's worth it. They're a remarkable hearty dose of wit, smarts, love, and pure inspiration. He's 94, and she's 90. (I've teased him about robbing the cradle.) Joe and Jenny hailed from Paradise. He drove them to countless gatherings in Chico, and I had the good fortune of meeting them years ago.
   I was relieved to learn that they'd made it out of the fires in relative ease, and were staying with another extremely kindhearted couple in Chico. So I paid a visit with a small selection of cozies (blanket, socks...)
   Jenny greeted me at the door. "Oh, you didn't have to," she said, donning her typical shy and warm smile.
   Joe approached with the most firm and earnest hug I've ever received - actually, equal in strength to all the other hugs he'd given me.
   "Well, where's your guitar?" he joked. (I don't play guitar, but nearly all of our mutual musical friends do.)

   As you can see from the photo, Joe loves to read. I'd brought him some books that I had, but that are way beyond my level of comprehension. He said he lost 80 books to the Fire.
   Joe had supported my book launch for Woman on the Verge of Paradise, bought, and speedily read the book. He's since attempted to elicit dirt on my (non) sex life every time I'd see him.
   "So, you getting any action these days, Robyn?"
   "Probably a lot less than you, my friend. I can't find a man, Joe. Much less keep one."
   "Lemme tell you the secret to keeping a marriage going. There are two things you gotta do. One, don't get divorced. Two, don't die. I'm doing pretty good at both so far."
   "You're doing amazingly well at both!"

   It's impossible to have known this couple and to NOT believe in "true love." They are just that.
  
   Regarding the Camp Fire, Joe says they'd been through it before. Paradise has had a number of evacuations in the past -- never, of course, anything like the terrors of 11/8. "If I'd have waited 15 minutes longer, we wouldn't have made it. We're much luckier than most."

   I only wanted to tell them how important, and how inspiring, they've been to the entire community. What came out was "I love you, Joe. I love you both."
   "Oh, all the women tell me that."

   Joe and Jenny are missed, but for good reason. They've relocated outside of the area to live with family. I'm hopeful they have a sense of what they've meant to Chico and Paradise. They've forever changed us in the most beautiful of ways. True heroes, this couple. May they be safe and loved for years to come.
  
  


37 comments:

  1. We all need heroes like them.
    Thank you and them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went to see them as quickly after the fire as I could, because I NEEDED to smile. And I knew they'd make me do that.

      Delete
  2. What a wonderful couple! I'm glad they're safe. Wishing them all the best in their new home with family. Thanks for introducing us to them, Robyn!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sure sound like a wonderful couple. Don't die is a good tip too lol

    ReplyDelete
  4. Joe's advice for a healthy marriage is inspiring. Sounds like a real charmer, as well. And Jenny seems like a real sweetheart, too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Joe is a wise man.
    Love must be what fuels them to keep going. Good for both of them. I know they will be missed but glad they have family to stay with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad. I'm also guessing they miss Paradise and Chico a lot. They had decades together here. But they're as resilient as resilient can be.
      Thanks, Alex.

      Delete
  6. What an incredible love story. Do you know about how long they've been married?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure it's over 60 years, but I don't know exactly, JoJo. They are incredible.

      Delete
  7. Now that's inspiration for the season. (sounds a bit like George and Barbara Bush when it comes to long term love)
    I'm glad they are well with family. Sorry you'll miss them, but hey - there's always old fashioned letter writing...a card in the mail to them is a nice "hug" with words.
    Thanks for posting this during a tough season out there. Be good to yourself too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You always have such wise words and great suggestions, Joanne. Why didn't I think of that? The drive to see them is terribly long. But heck, there's always snail mail. Thank you kindly, and for the reminder about self care too.

      Delete
  8. What a sweet couple! I love talking to older married couples because they tell it like it is. Listening to the banter between them is priceless. I'm glad you have them in your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Yvonne. It's fun and informative, right? Older couples really get what it takes to make marriage work. Plus, their entertaining stories are endless.

      Delete
  9. As "Christmas approached, the town became gorgeous".
    Christmas song flows, and a roadside tree is displayed with gorgeous neon.
    I am excited just to walk the town. "
    Ryoma.

    ReplyDelete
  10. How wonderful. I hope someone shares this post with them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm gonna work on making that happen.
      Thank you for the nudge, Mitchell.
      Be well and safe.

      Delete
  11. All we can do is to try to be like Joe and Jenny. "Don't get divorced and don't die." I'll remember that!

    ReplyDelete
  12. They sound like a sweet and inspiring couple. I'm glad they made it out of the fire safely and have a place to stay with family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, me too. They have too much life left in them.
      Thank you, Connie.

      Delete
  13. What an incredible couple, Robyn. Thank you for this story. So fitting for the holidays. I wish them both well!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This fills my heart with great warmth and delight seeing such a beautiful couple as this that have been married for so many years, a love that never fades, like two candles burning as one.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a remarkable couple. They have such a great attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What an inspiration they are! I hope, by the time I reach my 90s...wait, I hope I REACH my 90s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, making it to 90 is a big accomplishment.
      I want quality more than longevity, though. Both would be awesome. They have both.

      Delete
  17. Joe and Jenny will know later on...hehehe...lol
    have a great day

    ReplyDelete