THE BRIDE AND THE DOWRY

“You’ll really like, Frank,” Bill suggested as we as we drove to Greeley to attend Frank and Dorothy’s wedding almost four decades ago.

I’d not yet met the soon-to-be newlyweds.

Inside the church, wedding goers were chatting in hushed tones, waiting for the 2 PM ceremony to begin.

At about 1:50 PM Frank suddenly appeared at the altar and announced in a stage whisper, “The wedding is off. I just found out there’s no money in the bride’s dowry.”

Surprised, the crowd broke into laughter as did the bride waiting to make her way down the aisle.

From that moment on, I knew Frank and his bride Dorothy were people I wanted in my life.

Frank’s humor and spontaneous wit kept Bill and I laughing almost four decades. But even more endearing was Frank’s lifelong dedication to the poor and those who tried to eke out their lives on the fringes of society. Not just to care for them but to stand with them.

With his education, talent and personal attributes, Frank could have easily landed a spot on Wall Street, been a company CEO or President of a prestigious university, but he chose to work with those in need.

Dorothy gave heartfelt support to Frank’s efforts and poured her talents into schools fortunate enough to have her as a teacher.

A few years ago, Frank—then in his late eighties—stopped by our house. He’d just finished his volunteer stint helping to serve lunch to nursing home residents.

“These are important people,” he noted. Frank’s words sketched their way into my mind. “I’m ashamed to say this was a new concept for me. Nursing home residents—very important people.

Frank left this earth earlier this summer. As I think about him, I’m convinced of a connection between Frank’s deep sense of caring for others and his quick wit.

Perhaps we are put on earth not only to care for each other but also to delight and find humor in our day to day lives.

Like delight in a bride without a dowry.

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