Marriage is meant to be “till death do us part.”
But this touching story gives the expression a whole new meaning.
Henry and Jeanette De Lange were married in 1953.
Jeanette worked as a musician and Henry was a soldier who served during the Korean War.
Together the couple had five children, and in many ways, the family lived the American dream.
Henry and Jeanette enjoyed a happy marriage for an incredible 63 years.
And the couple ended up dying within a few minutes of each other. Henry was 86 and Jeanette was 87.
Jeanette had fought Alzheimer’s for several years and was admitted to a nursing home in 2011. Henry, who wrestled with prostate cancer, visited his wife several times a day.
But it wasn’t until July 2016 that Henry and Jeanette’s children were told that their parents’ health was quickly deteriorating. The doctors asked the family to come to the nursing home as soon as possible.
Eight weeks earlier, doctors explained to Henry that there was nothing more they could do to treat his malignant prostate cancer.
When Henry got the news, he asked to spend the last months of his life along with Jeanette at the local nursing home.
The staff made an exception to their normal rules and let Henry live there. The couple were placed in the same room and were happily reunited.
The De Lange’s children said that their parents really brightened up in their last weeks together. They were loving toward each other and happy to be with each other day in and day out.
On July 31, Henry and Jeanette both passed away. Two of their five children were present. The doctor had explained that their father, Henry, would probably go away first.
“He said, ‘Your dad’s pulse is worse. I wonder if he’ll go first,'” son Lee told KSFY. “About five minutes later, the aide came in and said,’ I think your mom is going to go very soon.’ So it was about five after five at that time.”
Two of the brothers read aloud one of their favorite hymns, but they didn’t finish before their mother died peacefully at 5:10.
Son Keith approached his father and told him that his wife now “was in heaven.” Keith explained that it was okay if he stopped fighting. He could let go and join his beloved in heaven.
Their father opened his eyes for the first time in several hours, looked over at his wife, and closed his eyes again.
Shortly thereafter, Henry De Lange fell asleep for good, just a few minutes after Jeanette.
“You don’t pray for it because it seems mean but you couldn’t ask for anything more beautiful,” said Lee.
About 25 minutes later, Lee looked up at the clock that hung on the wall of the nursing home. He had to rub your eyes one more time, for the clock read 5:30.
Strange, thought Lee. He double-checked his own watch and it displayed 5:55.
What had happened? Well, the nursing home clock had stopped at the precise time when his father passed away 25 minutes earlier.
Neither the grieving family nor caregivers could explain it—but they took it as a sign that a higher power had a hand in the game.
And it certainly adds another touching element to an already heartbreaking – albeit breathtaking story.
The family is convinced that this strange circumstance was a sign from someone up there, a way to show that their parents passed away at just the right moment… that it was time.
Please share the story if you know someone who needs an inspiring testament to the power of true love!
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