Larry and Pat Payne were married for over 50 years. The couple raised a family together and had a wonderful life, then Pat succumbed to breast cancer. Just like that, Larry lost the love of his life.
To honor her, much like Don Jaquish did for his late wife Babbette, the widower built a bridge over a small creak at Bushnell Township Cemetery. The bridge has a pink roof — a symbol of Pat’s battle with breast cancer.
“Had a lady the other day say, ‘Well I don’t like the pink,’” Larry told KHQA. “And I said, ‘Well, maybe you just don’t understand that that pink is the cancer is what that means.’”
The bridge is made of a 40-foot semitrailer bed and natural oak. Pat and Larry’s daughter Christine says her father put his “heart and soul into it.” Most who come to the cemetery may find the pink bridge a peculiar sight, they may not fully understand it, but if they look closer at the plaque inside and the pink ribbon made of chain, they’ll see that in the simplest of terms, the bridge is a monument of love.
“You know she’s smiling. I know she’s smiling. And she had one of the prettiest smiles… that’s what I said. I love my wife and there’s nobody that loves anybody anymore than I do her,” Larry said.