Florence, I found in his wallet two months ago. He had a map, directions, two photos: One wedding photo, another at home, next to each other!
I sketched his face so much like him though I am not an artist, but then how could I not have him so clearly, as I have him etched in my heart and in every fiber of my being?
He said not long ago, “We’ve 25 more years.” Every morning was a miracle to him, as he embraced the moments with such gratitude, he believed everyone had such great significance, and his evening prayers mandated those who were seldom considered in such a hurried world as ours. He forgot no one, ever!
He promised me Europe after the devastation of my father’s untimely death, and despite the horrid depression I experienced following that, with subsequent anorexia, he insisted we travel abroad.
The most memorable with him was Holland where amidst the screams of Holocaust survivors he pointed out the dreams of a 13-year old Jewish girl whose spirit lives on as a testimony of the human resilience when the choice is survival against such great odds.
Then, music, volunteerism in hospitals to keep me from a darker depression. He took me for voice lessons from an American opera singer who also taught me the native language, German. He always waited for me so patiently after each class with such encouragement and optimism.
Upon return to the Stated he had me resume classes I had abandoned after my father’s passing. It took me seven years, but I finally surprised him by graduating with a degree in Political Science and with another in Social Studies. It was his mentoring me and his example of brilliance in every spectrum of the universe that influenced me into gaining a renewed interest and momentum in my life, again.There was no subject in which he wasn’t wonderfully experienced and knowledgeable, and his wisdom and direction filled me with such hope and inspiration.
So many stories of angels in disguise we both experienced during numerous traumatic times, as I spent long nights and dawns closely watching him during our marriage, when he was admitted, often with complications, but his determination, strong will to live and love of life erased the horrors that often come with complex surgeries,and toxic medications heralded as “magical,” he adhered to despite my scrutiny and fear of side effects. It isn’t uncommon for some men trying to hold onto dear life, to create a bond with the male specialists whom I found did no research on their own, but conveniently connected with pharmaceutical representatives who deliver the drugs to the offices, and the doctors’ payoffs become cruises and long family European vacations in exchange for their patronage in the United States medical [practices.He never complained, and his faith never waivered.
After ending an antique business of two years, we took a break, then planning to sell our home and leave California, which we never really considered home, as we were both Southerners, We learned of Florence, Oregon.
He spoke to me about it, and I became enchanted learning it was so much like ocean fronts with which we were so familiar. The recollections of our childhood near the ocean made us see it as a dream land!. I instantly became enamored with the new home he offered me for our relocation.
We began buying new wardrobes, and he looked amazing having lost weight. His gorgeous silver hair drew out his beautiful blue eyes, surrounded by a short,delicately trimmed beard with which I loved seeing him.
I suddenly grew intensely interested in taking photos .Everywhere we went and for every occasion we took them. Providence must have stepped in because I can now look at him in the pictures we took for Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, my birthday all celebrated with such excitement as though it could never end. And, I would insist, impulsively, that he kiss me each time he got off the car to pick up something while I waited for him. I remember so vividly how he would return if he had rushed out just to kiss me. He would rise each day with a plan for each day. There was never a bad day for him. He felt blessed, always, and so grateful. He loved Psalm 91 and prayed Ephesians 6:10, subsequently, faithfully each night before retiring.
We were about to celebrate our anniversary in August, we came in from an extremely hot day. He appeared overly tired and went upstairs to our bedroom to lie down. The next morning I tried waking him up, but could not.
He had often said how blessed those who left our world in their sleep were.
We had had experiences of angels in our lives, and so I can only feel that one woke me up, for that night I saw something unrecognizable at the foot of our bed in the darkness. Though spirits are debatable in our world, it was the time he expired. Knowing how he had always told me he would never leave me, that must have been him saying goodbye to me.