They never recovered her body, though they recovered his.
You will probably know this story, but it bears retelling in a world where fidelity is rare.
It is an interesting beginning, to be born in Worms. But born in Worms, Germany, Ida Blun was, the fifth of seven children: Jesse, Clarence, Percy, Sara, Minnie, Herbert and Vivian.
In the fulness of time they emigrated to the States, and in this land of opportunity Ida met both the love of her life, and a very good match indeed.
He was an astute businessman and co-owner of Macey’s Department Store.
Not only were they prosperous New Yorkers, they were deeply in love. Friends and relatives remarked on how close the two were. When Isidor Straus was compelled to travel away as a US Representative for New York, they daily wrote to one another.
They spent the winter of 1911-12 in Europe, and their future was determined by a coal miner’s strike.
They had a passage booked on another ship, but when the strike hit, all available coal was diverted to one very important vessel: the HMS Titanic.
So they bought tickets for that, and embarked, and the rest is history, even that bit where we stand in the centre of all the chaos and anguish of a sinking ship in arctic seas, somewhere near lifeboat number 8.
The couple were offered a place on number 8, but Isidor would not go. There were women and children still on the ship, he said: how could he take their place? But he turned to his wife and implored her to board the little craft and save herself.
What happened next is well recorded. She turned to him and said: “We have been together for 40 years, and we will not separate now.”
Death would not part these two. In time Isidor’s body was found and Ida’s never was. Posterity has accorded them a monument at Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx. Inscribed on it are the words from the Song of Solomon: “Many waters cannot quench love – neither can the floods drown it.”
Constancy over 40 years is a rare flower. There will be those around you, maybe even you yourself, who have been together for that length of time. Across cyberspace I extend my respect and admiration for such extraordinary human faithfulness.
It does not require a life and death test to be celebrated for the miracle it is.