An 86 year old widower, who takes the time to visit his beloved wife’s grave at least two times every day, has brought a little unexpected joy to another family that lost a loved one.
For the past year and a half, Jake Reissig’s daily routine has remained mostly the same. He visits church, has coffee with one of his nine children, and takes a rose from his garden to the grave of his beloved wife, Elizabeth, in Conroe, Texas.
But with the ongoing drought in Texas, he felt he had to do something as the cemetery was forced to stop watering the grass. That’s when he decided to take matters into his own hands, and water the lawn around her stone twice each day on his own, according to CBS News.
Reissig’s devotion to the memory of his wife of 65 years is touching enough, but his compassion and kindness didn’t end there.
One day, as he was tending to Elizabeth’s grave, he noticed a young woman kneeling down and crying at a nearby tombstone. The woman’s husband, Joseph Villasenor had been a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, and had passed away in 2010.
It was then Reissig decided to add another daily task to his routine.
The next time Villasenor’s family members visited the grave, they were astonished to see the grass around the fallen soldier’s stone still lush and green. Reissig had taken it upon himself to keep Villasenor’s site just as beautiful and vibrant as he had kept his wife’s plot.
“They thought it was a miracle,” Reissig’s son Roger told CBS News. “They couldn’t believe a stranger would do that for him.”
But Reissig doesn’t think of himself as a stranger. Every day when he visits the cemetery, a single rose in one hand for Elizabeth’s memory and the garden hose in his other, he talks to “Joe” as he tends to the two plots.
When Villasenor’s parents came to visit their son’s gravesite, they hugged Reissig and stood with him while he watered the lawn.
“The way dad treated mom and all of us — it’s not a surprise,” Roger said.
After telling his father’s story on Facebook, Roger has seen the post go viral. Tens of thousands of people have “liked” it, and thousands have shared it.
Reissig’s romance with his “Liz” is clearly not over. But the love he has in his heart for an Air Force staff sergeant whom he never met is just as moving.