Losing a spouse is one of the worst tragedies a person can go through. Grief can consume your life and it may never go away. Sometimes, the best way to deal with grief is to take all of your emotional energy and turn it into something positive.
That’s exactly what Larry Payne did when his wife, Pat, passed away after 50 years of marriage. Breast cancer had taken the love of his life, and Larry was devastated. They spent their lives together in the small town of Bushnell, Illinois, so Larry wanted to give back to the community in a way that represented everything Pat had given to him.
His idea was to renovate a local bridge and turn it into a memorial for his late wife. At the cemetery where his wife was buried, there was a small creek. Larry and some friends built a bridge over this creek and placed a pink roof over the top of it. The pink roof represented his wife’s battle with breast cancer and was meant to honor her legacy as well as the legacy of the many other women who have fought with the same disease.
Their daughter Christine said, “It warms my heart, I feel the love. He put his heart and soul into it as well as everyone else that has worked on it. It's an awesome tribute to my mom and everyone else that's lost their fight to cancer." Through Larry’s hard work and love, he found a way to help the community and memorialize his wife at the same time.