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  • "...For companionship," she said. I sat at the kitchen table that day, witnessing the manifestation of sixty-six years of marriage. Unsteady on her feet, she served him lunch.

    "I enlisted in the navy when I was seventeen. And I broke this arm," he began.
    "There was no work around, that's why he joined the army -- isn't it?" she asked.

    Eight years earlier, he awoke in the middle of night to darkness and confusion, opened the wrong door, and fell down two perpendicular flights of stairs. It was weeks before his memory would return to us, but when it did, and we could visit him, I saw her kiss him for the first time. Until that day, over twenty plus years of time, I hadn't noticed that their love was the unspoken kind.

    "So I joined the RHLI reserves and from there I went into the artillery." A brief, comfortable silence sat upon us. "And from there he got shell shock and married me," she smirked. "Yeah," he sat, unabashedly. "Battle fatigue. It's not called shell shock, anymore. It's battle fatigue," he said smirking back at her.
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