January 10, 2005
I miss you so very much. I'm no longer complete. We were a team and half that team is gone. I have this huge hole in my heart. There seems to be nothing to fill the void. What we had was something so beautiful and special that it affected everyone around us. They could see and feel the love we had for each other. It made them all so happy just to see and watch us. I know you loved me as much as I loved you. I could see it in your eyes and hear it in your voice. You never lacked in telling me how much you loved me. And you made me feel so beautiful. You even told me I was beautiful. You made me young again and I enjoyed having that youthful exuberance. You made me want to be playful. I know I made you laugh sometimes and that made me very happy. Happy - I've never been as happy as this last year in my whole life. I did tell you that many times.
That first day you came to Farmington was a wondrous day. Even after over 40 years, that spark was still there and truly flared when I saw your wonderful smile and you gave me a big hug. After we had visited for about three hours, you left and said you'd pick me up in the morning. I can't say I was disappointed - it was more like stunned. I didn't know what to do with myself. A whole evening alone and I had expected to go out somewhere.
But the next morning you came again and we went shopping and ran some errands. I had you drive all over town telling you all the high points and bits of information about Farmington. You must have wondered if I worked for the Chamber of Commerce or was a tour guide in disguise. But you were so patient with me.
Then we were walking back to the truck from Wal-Mart and I slipped my hand in your arm. It felt so good and right. Then as we walked through the mall you took my hand and it made the day perfect. Then as we were driving around you put a CD in the player and said, "This one's for you." What a wondrous feeling I had as I listened to "Walk Through This World With Me." You were such a romantic. You said so much through your music. I really didn't know what to think listening to those words.
After we got back to the house, we sat out on the back deck and you told me we could have twenty good years together and you wondered how you let me slip through your hands twice before. You told me you would be willing to move to Farmington. Darlin', my head was truly spinning and I had such conflict in my head. My head was saying one thing and my heart another. You never actually asked me to marry you or told me you loved me. But I knew that's what you meant and I could see the love in your eyes. Then you left me to spend another evening alone wondering what to do.
On Thursday you picked me up again and said you wanted to go to a park. We found a spot at Berg Park and walked and talked after you gave me the beautiful diamond earrings and necklace for Christmas. Once again I was stunned and found out much later that you had bought them in Clovis the week before - not knowing what kind of reception you would get from me. All too quickly the day came to an end. You were gone again by dark.
When you called from Belen the next day planning to tell me you had dropped Mick off and were going on back to Portales, I couldn't believe the first words out of your mouth, "I can't live without you." I had been praying so hard all morning asking God what I should do about marrying you. And my response was, "I can't either." That's when the "I love you's" began and they never stopped. How many times did you tell me that you would love me "Forever and Always - which ever lasts the longest"?
I don't know how often we talked the next few days but AllTel gained some profits. Less than a week apart and it seemed like an eternity. I wanted to be with you so badly. Then I found out later that my dear son Russell had called you and told you he couldn't stand me any longer. That I was acting like a teenager and you needed to come back to Farmington.
When Mother and I got to the church for Christmas Eve services, you were waiting for me. What a wonderful surprise you gave me and the best gift I could have asked for. Then we celebrated our first and only Christmas together. What a joy!!! We cooked dinner for everyone and planned our wedding over the next couple of weeks.
You were so patient to sleep in the shop in Russell's pop-up camper. And so good-natured about the practical jokes my sons played on you. I thank you, Darlin', for love and respect enough to sleep out there until the wedding. I told you that God would bless us even more if we waited until we were married and He truly did.
Did you realize what wonderful friends and family I had? Immediately Kristin said she would take care of the reception. Bev offered to take care of the flowers. All I had to do was give my florist friend Donna a budget and they took care of everything. Bev even agreed to leave up the Christmas decorations at church for our wedding. Then Anne and Nancy offered to take care of the cakes and they were so good and pretty. With all the work being done, I could focus on you and that I did.
It was a beautiful wedding Darlin'. So perfect for us - with your twin brother and my best friend standing up with us and our grandchildren as flower girls and ring bearers. And Brother Larry was so excited for us and with us. He certainly did a bang-up job of performing the ceremony. Jeff's rendition of "The Lord's Prayer" was awesome - he wanted so much to sing something. Of course, we had to play "Walk Through This World With Me" and "Grow Old Along With Me" so meaningful.
Do you remember after Larry introduced us when I hollared, "Woo Hoo"? And then I almost dragged you down the steps and out the door. Several people said later they were afraid we'd jump in the car and leave. But we didn't. We stayed for the reception. It couldn't have been a happier occasion for everyone there. We did stay a reasonable amount of time, too.
Our first stop between the church and the motel was McDonalds for green chile double cheeseburgers, fries and diet cokes. Of course, they were cold by the time we ate them but they still tasted good. What an exhilarating night. Wow, My Darlin', you were something else!! I'll never forget your surprise when I stepped in the shower with you that night.
And we really surprised our family when we stopped by the house the next morning to drop off my wedding dress. Little did the ones from out of town know that we were right next door to their motel. Then we were off to Flagstaff, Phoenix, Show Low and Portales - the first of many trips to Portales.
There I met and soon came to love your family. They were so good to me and still are. Darlin', I thank you very much for bringing me into your loving and caring family. They all have been so good to me - checking on us, coming by, including us in their activities, lending helping hands and much more. And the children and grandchildren you brought into our marriage have been a wonderful addition to my family. Our relationships continue to develop and grow.
This whole thing was a shock to us but it left our families reeling. It all happened so fast. Of course, what they didn't know was that we had been talking on the phone and getting reacquainted for six months. I'll never forget my reaction when Bobbie emailed me that she had seen you and gave you my phone number. As I've told you many times, you came into my life and turned it upside down. You shook out all these feelings I didn't even know were there.
When we dated in high school back in 1956 or 57, I liked you a lot and felt a spark for you. Then you graduated and I moved and I didn't see you again for several years. We saw each other a few times and I have really good memories with that spark a little stronger. Then we drifted apart and went our separate ways for more than 40 years. Anytime your name came up in various conversations through the years I always felt a flutter and had good memories.
It's a good thing we didn't run into each other before. It had to be when we were both single. God saw to that. As I reflect on the past number of years, there were numerous occasions we could have met but it just wasn't right until it happened.
Oh Darlin', I've told you many times how much I fought the relationship. I had been widowed for eight years and hadn't dated at all. My life was set and I was content. I didn't need a man in my life and certainly wasn't looking for one. But God had different plans for us. He intended for us to be together at this time. I believe that's why we drifted apart both times before. It had to be at this stage of our lives. I'm sure we both learned from years of experience and used that knowledge to enhance our relationship. I believe that since we started out by honoring God and giving Him the credit for bringing us together, He blessed us with the best year of our lives. We didn't have financial concerns, no jobs to keep us apart and no children to raise. We could focus on each other and that's what we did, My Love.
How many times have I said you are the love of my life - my soul mate? Maybe that's part of why I feel so lost and alone now. But Darlin', we had a wonderful year. It started on December 16, 2003 when you first came to see me. And you left me to go Home on December 15, 2004.
We did pack a lifetime into that year. As I look over the calendar showing where we were each day, I'm amazed at the number of trips we made that 400 miles between Farmington and Portales. Not just the traveling (which was special each time with My Darlin' beside me) but all the work we did at each place just trying to keep up. No matter which direction we were going, when we arrived I'd say, "We're home" - each place was full of special memories. The family reunions, the cruise, the high school reunion - all have special places in my heart because they were with you beside me.
Then we decided to buy the place in Clovis. How many trips did we make bringing all that stuff? We worked so hard and finally got most of it done and put away. We had our first Thanksgiving here in our new home. This home has no memories except ours, Darlin', and I see you everywhere. The peace is still there about our decision to move. Mother and I still feel that we've come home.
And then that fateful day came with the phone call to take you to emergency NOW. We got to Lubbock and the roller coaster began. Your surgery was successful. Your heart was doing good. You made it through the first night. Then the stroke - that's an awful word. Darlin' you never opened your eyes but I know you could hear us. I know you tried but it wasn't to be. The calls and visits while you were in the hospital that week were so numerous you can't imagine. We'd get one kind of report from one doctor and a different one from another. Up and down....hope and pending doom...yes and no..... As Russell said, "How do you hope for the best and prepare for the worst?" And God in His wisdom took you Home. I know He has His reasons and maybe someday I'll know them.
And I sit here on our first wedding anniversary alone. My Love, it's not what I had planned but you're not here with me. I sit here in the middle of our bed surrounded by pictures of you and us with our wedding cake top and a fork - candles lit and a glass of wine (in a red goblet from our wedding reception) wearing your black hat and playing "Walk Through This World With Me" over and over and over. I did walk through this world with you, Darlin'. It just wasn't a very long walk. We had the best year possible. You gave me that youthful exuberance I want to hold on to.
Darlin', I miss you so very much. I know things will get better and I'll be all right. It's just the "getting there" that's hard. We asked for a miracle and God said "No." God is still in control and He knows what's best. While I do feel somewhat cheated, I am so very thankful for the time we had. I love you, Darlin'.
Tomorrow morning I shall listen to the words, "Good morning beautiful, how was your night?" and think of you playing that for me many, many mornings and singing to me along with it.
Happy Anniversary Darlin'.
Good night, Love of my Life. I'll see you in Heaven someday.