The Guy up in the Bucket [PHIL-OSOPHY]
I'm about to share with you a fairy tale-like love story about friends of ours, Nick and Marion Avtges and daughter, Suzanne and son-in-love, Bob Plourde, my Godson.
Nick, 88, and Marion, 85, have been devotedly married for 61 years. He was a brilliant civil engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and she was, to the same degree, a standout nurse and special education teacher. Marion had to move into Marist Hill Nursing Home in Waltham last year. Nick was by her bedside seven days a week until the COVID-19 coronavirus forced the facility to place an embargo on all visitors.
Can you visualize the grief and unhappiness disabling Nick from not being by his soulmate's side? Sure, they talked on the phone, but Nick's son Chris still saw the misery taking full possession of his dad. One night, a funny idea popped into Chris's head about having a bucket truck elevate Nick up to Marion's room window to see her. He gave it a shoutout on Facebook, explaining the circumstances, and not only did he get a bucket truck, but it turned out to be an old high school friend, Ryan Donnellan, owner of Donnellan Tree Services in Watertown.
The nursing home liked the idea, and on April 8, Nick donned a Patriots face mask and gloves, got into the bucket and was slowly and very carefully lifted up to his beloved's window screen where they touched each other's fingertips and touched everyone else's heartstrings.
Speaking with Bob Plourde, he told me that while they were touching through the screen, Nick asked, with tears in his eyes, "Marion, do you love me?"
"More than you know, Nick," she whispered. "More than you know."
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.