Okay. This is a mighty magic mushbag story.
Norma and Gordon Yeager were married for 72 years. We are going to assume that it was good. Because: it was.
On Wednesday, they went driving. He was 94. She was 90.
They were hit by another car. They were transported to a hospital in Marshalltown.
In the intensive care unit of Marshalltown’s hospital, nurses knew not to separate Gordon and Norma.
“They brought them in the same room in intensive care and put them together—and they were holding hands in ICU. They were not really responsive,” said Dennis Yeager.
Gordon died at 3:38 p.m. holding hands with his wife as the family they built surrounded them.
“It was really strange, they were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn’t figure out what was going on because the heart monitor was still going,” said Dennis Yeager. “But we were like: ‘he isn’t breathing. How does he still have a heart beat?’ The nurse checked and said that’s because they were holding hands and it’s going through them. Her heart was beating through him and picking it up.”
“They were still getting her heartbeat through him,” said Donna Sheets.
At 4:38 p.m., exactly one hour after Gordon died, Norma passed too.
So, what, really, is “life”? And what, really, is “death”?
More than by measurement, we can know.
So long as she lived, he did, too. Whether he was “breathing,” whether his own heart was “beating,” or no.
They lived, both of them, through desire.
Until, together, they “lived” no more.
And then: together they did float. Into the mystic.