One Widow Copes With Loss

Steve Hartman everybody has a story CBS/AP

From time to time, CBS News Correspondent Steve Hartman uses the random toss of a dart and a map of the United States to guide him in his quest to prove that "Everybody Has A Story."

On Thursday, however, he revisited a house in Ohio, where sorrow has replaced care and companisonship.

When he first arrived in Zanesville four years ago, Hartman wondered who the subject of his next piece would be.

To keep it simple, Hartman usually does a story on whoever picks up the phone. The Rev. George Turner would have been Hartman's subject, but the correspondent quickly learned it is impossible to even get a picture of the retired Baptist preacher without getting his wife, Evelyn, in the shot, too.

"We're partners," explained Turner during Hartman's initial trip to Zanesville, Ohio.

Because they were inseparable, Hartman decided to focus on both the king and queen of the house, who slept in cramped quarters.

"We have just an old-fashioned double bed," said George Turner. "We wouldn't have it any other way - because we got to be that close together."

George and Evelyn had been smitten with one another for 53 years. And, they said the only bad thing about loving so much is that they have so much to lose.

Evelyn had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The signs for the disease started with the little things, such as putting groceries where they don't belong.

And calling out for her husband when he had already left home.

"And I say, 'George, where are you?' And then it dawns on me and I feel silly. I just feel terrible," she said.

George said he would do anything to save her. But there was very little he could do.

"This may be hard for me to say this," he told Hartman, " I hope she goes first. Because I don't know what she'd do without me."

Four years later, Evelyn found out.

George died in February, and a double bed for Evelyn never felt so big.

She still lives in the same house and does her crosswords to keep her mind sharp. And, she's also looking to the future.

Currently, she lives with her pet, Peaches, and her daughter Georgann, who recently moved in. Georgeann and her sister, Faithia, both say their mom's medicine is working well — preserving all the thoughts that matter most.
  • Rome Neal

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