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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

MY WIFE'S 5th ANNIVERSAY

This Thursday, 26 April, is the 5th anniversary of my darling wife, Maria's passing.

I am told that the 5th anniversary of widowhood and widower hood is a significant milestone ~ it is indeed a long time and a lot of adjustment to the survivor's life is necessary. It has been very hard at times.  

I have missed her very much, as my friends know ~ we were together for over 40 years and there is still an empty space in my life, even though she is in my heart still.

I purchased a lovely headstone for her and there is even a small space for a few words for me later, after my son and daughter arrange something, but we shall reserve some space for the addition of these words, near the base:


Reunited for Ever


I am well over the worse now ~ I have cherished memories of our life together ~ such a wonderful book we shared and lived out. But there is now a new book which I have to live and although I am sad she is not sharing this with me, I am enjoying life once again. I am blessed with my wonderful children, their spouses and two adorable grandchildren, soon to be three in July. Maria certainly sprinkled stardust on the first two, Peter and Rosa, and I am sure she will do so again. 

Looking back over this period there has been a mixture of sadness, happiness and humour, which you will all know is never far from me. I have always found that humour helps to deal with anything life can throw at us, which it does, often cruelly, from time to time.

At Maria's funeral we played my daughter's recording of Schubert's Ave Maria from her CD, played regularly on local radio. Maria requested this to be played as centre point for her own funeral, so I arranged for David, the church warden to play it. The night before I made David laugh by asking him to make sure he played the correct track, remarking that it would be in very poor taste if he played the first track, "It's Raining Men" during one of the most serious sections of the service, and I did not wish to receive Maria's wrath with a hail of thunder and lightning.

In fact when Selina's version of Ave Maria was played there was not a dry eye in that very large congregation and I still marvel even now that as soon as Selina started singing, a ray of sunlight shone brilliantly through a stain glass window overhead, illuminating Maria's coffin, and shortly after the singing ended this ceased too, almost as quickly as it had begun, reverting to quite ordinary lighting. Read into that what you may, but it tells me in strong terms that Maria was looking down that day and was very pleased and happy and probably very moved.

There is a short story about the headstone itself. I found a local stone mason and one day arrived at his site in an empty bus, after delivering my last dial a ride passenger. I was wearing my old Ambulance Fleece with the name of my company, Wings Ambulance Services, sadly no longer operating. When he saw the fleece his eyes lit up, remarking that he worked there too some years before me and we proceeded to talk about the good old days for at least 45 minutes before he looked at me with a smile and asked me what I wanted. I told him about the demise and loss of Maria and said I wanted something special for her, so I looked through his collection and quickly chose the headstone you see. I was quite pleased with the price but knew also that the proprietor of the care home in which Maria worked, also wanted a headstone for her husband who had died three years previously.

A flash of humour came to mind and I asked him if his organisation ran a Buy One Get One Free Scheme (BOGOF). We both roared with laughter before he politely told me to BOGOF . . . . lol, but then he proceeded to say he would give us both a 10% discount.

"What!!!", I said, "do you realise that this lady runs a nursing home ~ she could put loads of business your way?"

"Oh! OK, then, 15% each . . . and that's your lot!"

We laugh to this day when we see one another.

The lady's husband is buried in the grave next door but one to Maria, and her choice of headstone complements mine very nicely, with the heel being on the opposite side, and with the picture on the other side and being being Catholics she has chosen Mary, not Jesus. The stones look great together and between them lies a young man struck down in his prime. We would like to think we might in some way look after him a little when the time comes for us to rest.

Pat, the lady mentioned, is a very good friend and jokingly one day she said we would not be far from one another for eternity and wondered who might reside there first. I said I was in no hurry.  My great grandfather, James, is about 40 yards away to the right just behind us, so when the last trump sounds I guess we shall all go up together ~ I shall certainly look out for him.  James was only 57 when he died in tragic circumstances and although he was born 100 years before me in a way I regard him like a son and wish to be there for him, and to make sure he is ok. I have grown to love that man over the years during my researches into his life.

Rest in peace, Maria, until we meet again. I must visit you more often but I am sure you understand I am working hard at the kids' houses with various and seemingly never ending projects. I know you are not there, darling, for you now reside in Heaven with the angels, in a much preferred dimension.

I know you never liked cut flowers that much since they do not last,  much preferring a nice potted plant. I'll make sure you get another soon. 


God bless

                                                                  

16 comments:

  1. Hi Eddie - lovely to read this delightful post full of memories - both past and present ... I'm sure Maria will be benevolently smiling down on you ... and spreading her rainbow over your family and friends. The grandchildren will keep you going for many a year ... enjoy their growing and developing and changing ... life is for living isn't it - love the stone-mason's story - cheers with a tinge of sadness ... a quiet Thursday - Hilary

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    1. Thank you Hilary. Yes, life is for living ~ that's for sure . . :)

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  2. Beautiful tribute, Eddie. I am still coming to terms with my loss. Two years now.

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    1. Thank you Valerie. It gets quite a lot easier after a while. Two years in my experience was worse than the first year but gradually improved from then. Hope it is the same for you. :)

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  3. Eddie, this is a love tribute. It is clear that you loved Maria very much.

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    1. Thanks Michelle, I was a very lucky man to have her . . . :)

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  4. This is so beautifully written....from your heart.
    Gentle hugs to you, my friend..

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    1. Thanks Jackie ~ hugs to you too and will definitely see you at the last trump . . :)

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  5. I'm so sorry, Eddie. What a lovely tribute to your wife.

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    1. Thanks SAM . . . much appreciated . . :)

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  6. This was so sweet. :) In some ways it seems longer than 5 years to me! I'm sure it does to you, too. So glad you have gotten over the worst of it and are happy and enjoying life. You have a sweet family to keep you busy and I know you love them and feel needed. xxoo

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    1. Thank you Betsy, and you forgot to mention friends in my life and I count myself fortunate that you number amongst the very highest . . . :) x

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  7. Beautiful image the building You chose well for the theme.
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