I recently received a photograph of a water color done by a local Buffalo artist that she had painted. The image was of an older couple walking away, hand in hand, down a tree lined path. She sent this because of an article I wrote and had published in an area newspaper. The article reminded her of the painting she had completed a few years ago. The image reminded me of how my wife and I are always walking, hand in hand, wherever we go.
I remember first meeting my wife at a birthday party that I had crashed with a college friend of mine. I physically picked her up and carried her off into a dark corner loudly proclaiming, “This one’s mine.” How prophetic. I don’t think I really liked her at first, I was just looking for some female companionship. I had dated my share of girls by then but had never met anyone quite like her. Eventually, I fell deeply in love.
The painting also reminded me of a couple of short poems I had written for my wife several years ago. She has these in a frame on her dresser. Both of these poems reflect what it means to me to have her in my life.
The first poem is a short poem having just three words, it goes, Together, Forever, Whatever. These three words represent the lifelong commitment we have made to each other. The second poem was a bit longer it reads, Thru good times, Thru Bad. Thru happy, Thru sad. Thru high, Thru low. Thru you, I’m whole.
Sometimes simple is best.
The good times in the poem refers to all the years we have been together, loving each other, caring for each other, sharing our lives together.
The bad represents the time I was being treated for cancer. I would lay in bed sleeping, only waking to eat chocolate covered mini doughnuts. This was the only food I wanted. The oncologists and I didn’t think I would see another Christmas. She would lay beside me comforting me, holding me thru it all. I firmly believe she is the one reason I made it thru this very dark time in our lives.
The happy is when she said “Yes.” when I proposed to her. We had been dating for about six months and my heart knew that she was the one I wanted to spend my life with. One night at Ellicott Creek Park, I said I had something I wanted to talk about. Knowing how much she loved children, I had devised what I thought was the ideal line. One that I thought she could not say no to. We were “parking” when I sprung THE question on her. Sitting there looking out across the water, I asked her to have my children. She hesitated a bit and I thought I had blown it.
I realize now when I said I had something to talk to her about, this wasn’t quite what she was expecting. She was expecting the “something to talk to her about” was that I wanted to breakup with her, so my question caught her completely off guard. She made me happy again when she said “I do” in Saint Patrick’s church in 1969. She has given me wonderful children and grandchildren, an amazing, loving family.
The sad references the times we had to be separated because the ship I was on would go on cruises. It seemed like forever to me until I returned to port.
The high is the soaring feeling I get seeing her, hearing her voice and snuggling with her on the weekends, the touch of her hand on my face, the feel of her skin against mine. There is nothing quite like it.
The low is about the loss I feel for friends and family that are no longer in my life for one reason or another.
Without her I would be a ship drifting on the sea of loneliness. Completely lost. I never thought I would deserve such a loving, kind person in my life. One who accepted me for who I was.
In all the years we have been together, we never had a major argument. We’ve had disagreements sure, all couples do, but we always resolved them quickly. She is my soul mate, the Yin to my Yang, the ping to my pong, the night to my day. She will always be my “Bride”. We’ve been together for over 50 years. I want 50 more.
Norb is a writer from Lockport who realizes how very, very lucky he is.
Lead image: Sgarton