"Years ago, my late cousin surprised the family by announcing one summer that she soon would engage in what Samuel Johnson called 'the triumph of hope over experience' - she planned to remarry.
The couple had spent years single, he as a widower, she caring until the end for her elderly mother. On the telephone, her voice exuded happiness. A retired businessman, her fiancé filled up his days taking enrichment classes at a Kansas City college. He felt a tad awkward among all the kids, she said, especially when he'd grab a bite at the student union between classes.
Timing and tests later revealed it was at the cafeteria that he contracted a food-borne illness from consuming a contaminated meat salad. Within days his kidneys failed. There was barely time for his adult children to visit him in intensive care. He never got to make good-byes. And then the call came - our cousin, who'd been eagerly planning her later-in-life wedding, now was planning a funeral..."