01/12/2012 08:23 am ET

A Family Learns The True Meaning Of The Vow "In Sickness And In Health"

The dark-oak farmhouse table where Page and Robert Melton spent many a dinner hour is now laden with vases and framed pictures, fragile pieces of their life together that have to be tucked into cardboard boxes. The movers are coming in the morning and, with much still to pack, Page thinks she could be looking at another all-nighter.

She picks up a sepia-toned drawing of blackbirds. They gave each other art in the early years of their marriage, and this was the first thing Page had given Robert. Next, a photo of Robert standing in front of the Virginia statehouse, looking every inch the formidable journalist he was, a guy who could intimidate colleagues with a dipped chin and glance over wire-rimmed glasses.