It would have been today.
It would have been our thirty-seventh anniversary, but he was called home to Heaven and I am here. Today though, I remember, and I miss.
I remember that first time we talked. I was just recently back from Louisiana and escaping, literally, a bad relationship. I definitely looked the part of an abuse victim. When I had stepped off that bus and my mother saw me, she almost cried, that is how bad I looked. But I was starting over, I was going to get back on my feet. I was taking those steps and had found this job. I was there at work, and in the canteen taking a lunch break. He was sitting at a nearby table watching me. I could feel his gaze even as I didn’t look up. He finally walked over and sat down and there it began.
It took a little over a year for my divorce to become final, we were married shortly afterwards. We lived in a small mobile home in a park on the opposite side of town from the dirt road where my family lived. Living in a place such as that isn’t all bad, you have friends, but no privacy. You could not leave anything, including pets, outside for fear of it disappearing. Yes, we had to track down a cat of my step-daughter’s once. After that we decided it was a good idea to move the mobile home to the dirt road. We got an acre of land from my parents and moved the mobile home. We had a well and septic tank dug and the land cleared. He was concerned about living so close to my parents but he quickly found out that my parents were not meddlesome in the least.
One note, I grew up on this dirt road, in the house I live in now. At the time we moved the mobile home when you cane down the road my parents lived here, my grandfather lived in the next house then my brother’s house and then, our mobile home. When my grandfather died, my mother bought out my uncle’s half of the house and my parent’s moved into that house. My husband and I bought this house from my parents. At that time I was expecting seven months pregnant and did most of the moving since my husband worked long hours.
Our journey was like so many others, we had amazing times, we had rough times. We quit jobs, found jobs, lost jobs. We lived through times of plenty and times of famine. But all the time, even when we argued, even when we were silent, we loved.
He was a person who would regularly work as many hours as he could, then he would take the time to play. He tried to spoil us as he could. Vacations to the mountains or beach. Trips to see favorite country music bands. Flowers. He knew I did so love a yard filled with flowers and every time he could, he bought flowers for me to plant and enjoy.
He was a man of habit. He had places he preferred to go for any reason. He would always go to the same restaurant, often eating the same meal. Always the same grocery store, his shopping list once he began driving almost always the same. Always the same hotel when we went somewhere.
Before he lost that last ‘nine to five’ job and began driving a truck, I could count the number of states he had visited on one hand. Then,, when he couldn’t find a job here at home, he learned to drive and off he went. He had a rough beginning, but it was something so very different than anything he had done before. But he was determined to provide for his family so he persevered and overcame all the difficulties.
At that time we did not have smart phones. He would often call us asking for either me or our son to look up places and help him determine the best ways to get in, if there was parking, any of the things that a driver needs to know. There were times when he would call me and ask me how to pronounce the name of a place. He would spell it out while I quickly wrote it down. Often I would ask him, much to his chagrin, ‘can I buy a vowel’ as what he had given me was mainly consonants. I would make a guess hoping to be close.
He faced weather that we do not face here as a general rule. White out snow storms, flooded roads, tornadoes, winds that could blow a truck over. He faced weeks out on the road away from home. He dealt with a variety of people, those who were helpful and those who seemed determined to make life hard. He complained often of the way people drove around his truck and how dangerous their actions were. He often had trouble finding somewhere to park for the night that was safe and legal. He worried constantly about us here at home. If we were okay, if we had everything we needed. He had a list of worries that I tried hard to calm but couldn’t. All things that every driver out there faces, but this was so different than anything he had ever faced and was not what he had ever dealt with, but it was now his life.
One of the jobs he had was working for a bakery, taking the fresh bread and moving the racks into a blast freezer. One that was so cold the bread froze almost instantly. He always blamed that on the problems he had with his lungs. That and the years of smoking. He began to have various health issues but worked through it all. Right up until that day.
There are times when you just know something is wrong. I had called often all day, every break, and got no response, no answer. Then just before time to go home from work, I got the call that shifted my whole world and nothing has been the same.
Today would have been thirty-seven years married. In a few weeks it will be five years since he was found deceased in that idling truck in a truckstop so far from home. Today, I will remember the man, the determination, the dreams, the life that ended that day. Today, I will hold tight to the memories and what was. I will feel the hugs I’ve missed, hear the words no longer spoken, I will remember the love that never really ends. It changes into the memory, but never ends.
It still is your anniversary, because in your heart the marriage and the love didn’t stop.
Thank you. I agree.
What a blessed testimony Rebecca. I have a husband like yours, whatever it takes he always provided for us. To have such good strong memories is a gift. blessings.
Thank you. I do agree. I’m glad you have a strong determined husband. They are indeed a blessing.
Cherish the wonderful memories.
Oh I do. Thank you.
Sounds like you had a wonderful husband. Thank you for sharing your special memories with us. I know how difficult these anniversaries can be and am sending well wishes your way.
He was a good man, not perfect, but there is only One perfect. Thank you for your kind words.
So sorry for your loss. You sound like your lifecwith him was wonderful, beautiful memories. I have been married to my hubby for 34 years. I had a bad 1st marriage, drug & alcohol abuse. My husband & I have been best friends since the day we met! I feel blessed! I pray for you & your family for comfort!
Thank you. Like real life, it wasn’t perfect, but it was special. I am glad that you and your husband have such a special relationship. May it be so forever.
Rebecca: you’re right, it isn’t always perfect but then we are only human… many prayers!!