A year later, they pledged their lives to one another. Ten years later, still childless and weary of the big city, they decided to start fresh. For years, they had dreamed of Alaska. Now they ventured there by train to make a new home.
They had a cabin built on the shore of Auke Bay. From their front porch, they watched glaciers calving, great frozen endpoints, once liquid, breaking free and returning to their origin.
For 40 years, they lived there simply, quietly and happily. They both taught at the local campus of the University of Alaska until they retired. They were inseparable.
Then one November, Christine became ill, very ill. John brought her to doctors in Juneau, but they could do nothing for her, so he brought her home.
As the snow began to fall, John cared for Christine day and night, but she grew ever weaker. For each of them, the thought of losing the other was nearly unbearable. In their suffering, they were fused.
In the spring, a neighbor went to their cabin to check on them, but they weren’t there. Then he discovered a single set of heavy footprints in the soft soil from their front steps to the water’s edge.