Below is a photograph of James and Lauretta Burke holding hands in a hospital room. Just below that is a photograph of James and Lauretta on their wedding day – 64 years prior. The collage quickly went viral. It encompasses everything that we, as humans, search for. Some of us find it, and some of us search for it in vain, but this strong and timeless love is an incredible thing to witness, and these two beautiful souls were able to share a lifetime. And they were grateful for every minute of it.
The pair had 9 children, each of whom married and had children of their own. The Burkes had 23 grandchildren and 5 great grand-children. They met frequently for family reunions – one which was held in Ireland in 1996!
When Lauretta was diagnosed with Alzherimer’s, James began to fill in the gaps of her memory. He was living for her, taking care of her, but was unable to help her when dementia finally took hold of his wife.
James underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker, but this caused him to stay in and out of the hospital for the better part of a year. Just before he passed away, he made a will that would give her the best care available for Alzheimer’s.
His last words were, “I’m going home, but I’ll see you all again.”
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