Eric's Heroes: A love story about a husband's daily journey to see his wife
For better and for worse, in sickness and in health, Dean Allard gets up and reads a bit every morning. He then calls an Uber.
"It's my life," Allard said.
It's time to go see his girl.
"It's been a long time that we've been together. I just...I just don't know any better."
The Uber shows up and Dean climbs in. It takes him a couple of miles up the road and his anticipation is such that he feels like a kid.
"I just want to be with her, that's all," he said.
Dean gets dropped off at a bus stop and as he waits for his next ride, he talks about how he met Mary many years ago.
"I fell in love with her right away. No hesitation," Dean said.
The bus arrives and he climbs aboard in spite of crippling arthritis.
And riding along, he talks about this trip that he makes every single day.
"I don't have to do it. If I had to do it I probably wouldn't want to do it. I do it because I want do it," Dean said.
About 13 miles later, he gets dropped off. He then walks on the last stretch of his destination.
When a guy wants to see his gal, he does what he has to do.
Mary has been living at Aldercrest for five years now and has been married to Dean for 67 years.
They had eight children together, 20 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren. Through good times and bad times, they were together.
Dean said Mary recognizes him most days.
"If people could see what these people look like when they're not being tended to...they just stand and stare off into space," Dean said. "If someone comes in that knows them or they know that person, they always spark...their face lights up," Dean said.
And if you ask him, he'll tell you about their love.
"It was never weak at any time. It was strong at the beginning and it never got weak," Dean said. "I knew where I was with her and I think she knew where she was with me."
Dean made a promise 67 years ago: for better and for worse, and in sickness and in health.
He'll keep that promise.
Editor's Note: "Eric's Heroes" is a weekly series airing every Wednesday on KOMO News in the 6 p.m. newscast. If you have a good story about a good person doing good things for the right reasons, share it with Eric by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.