Last night I went to the symphony. Bill and I used to go to the symphony and it is rather difficult to go alone now. It was brought so poignantly to my attention last night as the senior (and I use the word senior to show that they were not what I consider old) couple I was sitting next to were holding hands to share the feelings that the music was sending to their souls. Bill and I used to do that. I almost grabbed this guy’s other hand to see if it would help my lost feeling. A tiny example of the things that bind people together.
It is called sharing. The sharing of life’s experiences over a long period of time cements a couple together that man cannot break asunder. As I look back more and more these past few months, I am remembering events, problems, joys---all becoming more vivid as time goes on.
The early years where we had a long honeymoon as Bill was teaching 100 miles away and came to me only on weekends. The time I told him of my becoming pregnant with our first child. Those early months with the first child when we were up all night trying to feed him. We were so woefully inexperienced taking one and one-half hours to get 3 oz. down him with a nipple hole so small the poor kid was sucking and sucking and not getting much. By the time he finished one feeding, soon it was time for another and we thought it had to be warm and Bill kept running to the kitchen to heat it up and I kept feeding it to him. Finally I burnt a needle and made a bigger hole and that problem was solved. Sounds so simple now but we were so afraid to make a mistake then. The book (Dr. Spock) said not to feed him too fast because then he would get colic.
All of the four children’s triumphs and failures. The decisions for running for election and the triumphant run for the Clerk of Court. The decision to go for the Judicial Administrator’s degree and the move to Denver. The loss of a job in Michigan later and his departure for Iowa for two years while we stayed in Michigan. Back to weekends again. The triumphant landing of the position in Wisconsin with his choice of three cities. Feast and famine.
The physical trials of all three boys with hernia surgeries at 7 weeks, 9 weeks and 12 weeks. The first, misdiagnosed and just being saved by calling in a new surgeon and only a few minutes. The teenage trials with scoliosis, one wearing a brace, and one having spinal surgery. Me with breast cancer and nose cancer and lung biopsy and another breast cancer and Bill with hiatal hernia surgery a few weeks after a move to Wisconsin where the doc I just met told me he had a 10% chance of living through it. Then this surgery having to be done over at the Mayo Clinic when the stitches all started to come out. And a lot more but all blessed with full recoveries. We went through it all. Sharing.
Hang in there, folks, through the good and the bad. It will be worth it in the end. Though he is gone, I have great memories and lots of them from a long life together. How I wish he were still here, but well and himself again!