Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lifelong Love - Carolyn


 I'm sorry to be so late posting. Things have been a tad frazzled.
Monday, December 30, I became a widow. I already don’t like it, although it’s a role I’ve been interning for these last two and half years. I have known and loved George for nearly fifty years. I remember my mother's saying after my father was killed that she would never make love again. I now know what she meant. 
At some point I will come apart and the seams, but not yet. At this point I am in logistical mode. The logistics surrounding death have become so complicated that I’ve been too busy go grieve. Since George retired from the Army, I am bound and determined to give him a military sendoff. Gracious! Since I worked for the military myself, I know how they like their forms, but you’d think I was trying to put one over on them. He is eligible to be buried at Arlington in Washington. Thank heaven I didn’t try for that. They’re backed up for over two years.
And then, the cemetery allots exactly fifteen minutes for each service, and they don’t mess around with calling time. Not only that, but it would seem so many veterans, young and old, are dying that the facility is booked up until the end of next week.
But we will have the piper. He’s playing Amazing Grace. I’d prefer MacDonald’s lament, but it’s too long. When they play taps and hand me the folded flag, I expect to dissolve in a puddle on the floor. I’m definitely wearing my sunglasses. I wish I could wear one of those widow’s veils that they wear in France and England. I just hope I can keep my mouth shut. George would be highly embarrassed if I started to howl.
We were married forty-seven years ago in October. That’s a long time to share memories. Now, I have no one left who remembers what I remember. If you do it right, your children grow up into lives and go to partners of their own. Old friends have families of their own, and move in and out of your life. People die. But I always knew George loved me, and I hope he knew I loved him. We fought, of course, and went through some really bad stuff, but the point is, we got through it and back to one another.
In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye’s wife Golde says, “Twenty-five years my bed is his. If that’s not love, what is?”
I was privileged to share the bed and love of an intelligent, funny, honorable man who loved me and who did the best he could so long as he could. That’s not a bad epitaph.

11 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, Carolyn. I had no idea. My very deepest condolences aren't enough to express how sorry I am for your loss. I wish I lived close enough to help in any way needed. May he rest in peace. You're love came through so strongly in this post that I know he felt it. Hugs. If there's anything I can do, please contact me.

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  2. Carolyn - words are our business, yet I don't know what to say that would help you. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure George knows how much you loved him, and will love you forever. His suffering is over and he's gone home - there has to be some comfort in that, though your suffering continues. Wish I was there to make you tea and put an arm around your shoulders. Try to imagine all your Heartwarming sisters circled around you with love and comfort.

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  3. I'm so sorry. I hope when the noise dies down that there is comfort in memories.

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  4. Carolyn, big cyber hug to you. You sound very strong and I know his love will be with you. You aren't truly alone.

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  5. Carolyn, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Memories are so very wonderful, hold onto those! Get through the logistics and then take time to grieve. My heart goes out to you.

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  6. Carolyn, my heart is breaking and I can hardly see because I'm crying as I type this. Your tribute to George is so powerful and beautiful. He couldn't be prouder of your thoughtfulness in this time to make sure he gets the proper military funeral. I've been married 20 years and that's not even half as long as you and George. Yet I can see how incredibly hard it must be to have your other half taken from you. Please know that he is with you, in spirit, and your family and friends (including us) are there for you. Sending you hugs and prayers.

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  7. Carolyn, Words are never enough at this time. As a friend who went through this 3 years ago, I know your pain. I'm so sorry you're having to struggle with the military. They were so wonderful to me. You will cry when they hand you the flag and certainly when taps are played. Strength seems to fade in the long lonely evening hours. I hope you have many good friends who are nearby and who will help you through this most difficult of times. I pray for you. Just take one day at a time.

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  8. Carolyn, I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  9. I'm crying too. Carolyn, George was lucky to have you, lucky to know love. You are in my prayers.

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss, Carolyn. I will pray that you find comfort in your friends and family. Things may never be okay, but you will find a way through. Thinking of you.

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  11. Oh, Carolyn. I'm so sorry--I didn't know. I wish there was something we could do or say to help. Please let me know if there is anything. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

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