Monday, November 24, 2008

My Husband

November is not a good month for me. The weather is usually cold and raw, which means that my arthritic joints start giving me trouble. When storms start brewing, I remember my old friend, sciatica. A
nd there are a number of sad anniversaries for our family in this month, including my brother-in-law and a very dear nephew.

Today marks the thirty-third anniversary of my husband's death. His funeral was on the day before Thanksgiving, so that holiday is not the joyous one it used to be. It used to be a very hard day to get through. As they tell us, time does heal, and it is no longer a day for shedding tears. Over the pa
st thirty-three years, I have stopped remembering the terrible and sad things, and instead, spend the time thinking of the wonderful eighteen years we had together. Well, nineteen if you count that year before we were married. So today I intend to celebrate his life, rather than his death. We pretty much had an eighteen year honeymoon. Not that there weren't hard times too, but truthfully, I barely remember them now. Our love always managed to overshadow them. It was fun! It was wonderful! And I wouldn't trade those short eighteen years for a lifetime with anyone else.

Back in March, I wrote a post on Ralph, and I don't want to repeat myself. And I know I've printed some of these photos before - but those I will repeat. I always enjoy looking at old photos again, and maybe you will too.

Now is this a picture,
or what? Ralph and his sister and brothers - including his twin. Don't they look angelic?

And here he is, growing up in Hempstead, New York. I love this one!

Jumping ahead several years, here we are in 1957.

And here is Ralph with our first,
child, Ruth.

A few years later, Joe and then Rita had been added.

This is the day we added Charlie to the family. I was about ten months pregnant at the time with Kitty. Ralph had had a heart attack about a dozen years earlier. The first words he said w
hen he learned we were pregnant again were, "I'll never live to see this one grow up." I didn't believe it for a minute.

Speaking of Kitty - He spent every minute he could with her.

I guess he tried to cram in all the time he could for her to remember.

This is the terrible Polaroid a neighbor took of the six of us (and the dog and the cat) when Kitty announced at the last minute that she needed a family photo for kindergarten that day.

Bad as it is, I love this little piece of the picture above. I don't have another of the two of us taken any later. It was a year before he died.

So, I will spend today quietly, and wrap myself in warm memories.

When I did the post in March, I also left a quote from poet, Rabindranath Tagore. I can think of nothing more appropriate:

The butterfly counts not months - but moments - and has time enough.


nina at Nature Remains. said...

Bobbie--I know this date will always bring you sadness, but it seems you have held onto wonderful memories to wrap yourself up in.
May you find them warming and comfortably welcome today.

Cliff said...

I'm sorry for you and your families loss. He sounds like he was a great father and husband.
(which is the best that can be said about any man)
I'm celebrating with you in his memory and life.

pink dogwood said...

What a great post Bobbie - I wish your honeymoon was longer. However, it sounds like you accumulated enough happiness to last you a lifetime. I hope someone remembers me like this when I am gone.

A hug from me to you.

Judy said...

Bobbie, I think this is one of my very favorite posts you have written. I loved seeing the pictures of your family. I know your husband was such a good man from the way you talk about him and you loved him very much. I am glad you are celebrating your life together. My father died on Thanksgiving Day and that always comes back to me this time of the year. Also, I have arthritis, too and it is raining and the wind blowing here today. Not a good day for my back! Thanks for sharing this. I enjoyed it so much.

Sylvia K said...

I do hurt for you and understand the loss you still feel. But what a wonderful eighteen years you did have together and I know those memories are indeed the things to wrap yourself in during this difficult time. My thoughts are with you and may your memories warm these cold November days. I, too, celebrate with you.

bobbie said...

Thank you, Cliff, Nina, Sylvia, Judy, Pink Dogwood. You are all very kind. I really didn't mean this post to solicit sympathy at all. I just write down what I fell these days. I guess that's what most of us do on our blogs. It's sort of therapy, isn't it? I do appreciate all of the friends I've made by blogging. Love you all.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful sharing you've given to us all out here on the other side of the blog. You have a lovely family, and I'm glad you are able to draw a butterfly's comfort and perspective from your loss.

Daryl said...

Bobbie, I am sitting here in tears.. not sad ones but not happy ones either ... I send you hugs ... an 18 yr honeymoon has a lot of good memories to keep you warm.

Ralph was a handsome man .. he reminds me of Kevin Spacey ...


bobbie said...

Deborah and Daryl, thanks for being there to share with me.

kenju said...

Bobbie, I love seeing your photos, especially the older ones. I don't blame you for being sad.

Kathie Brown said...

Bobbie, how nice to learn about you and your family and especially your enduring love for your husband. Gus and I have been married for almost 32 years now. Its a rare thing nowadays, I know. My Nana never remarried when her husband died of a heart attack in his 60's. She loved him until she died at the age of 93. Ralph seems like a wonderful husband and father. How nice of you to remember him this way and share him and your love with all of us!

Mimi Lenox said...

I'm so glad you visited me today. The link sent me here to read this beautiful tribute and discover a wonderful love story. The quote at the end is amazing. I've never heard it but will certainly copy it down.

You had nineteen years with the love of your life. What a blessing and a gift. Yes, it is sad that he is gone and tragic. I am sorry for your loss but so touched that you have the wherewithal to write this down so beautifully.

You go wrap yourself in warm memories. And don't miss a moment.

Dianne said...

I love all these photos. I remember most of them, especially the one of your husband with that wonderful, funny dog.

and that fantastic Polaroid - the Shadow Family!!

I hope the day has been kind to you.

love and hugs :)

bobbie said...

Judy, Kathie, Mimi and Dianne, thank you all. Yes. This day was very kind to me, thanks to such good friends.

Unknown said...

Dearest Bobbie, sorry to hear about your loss. From what I read, he is such a great husband and father and I am sure you'll have great memories of him always. Have a good week. said...

Bobbie, what a touching tribute to your beloved. You lost your husband at such a young age. My dear brother-in-law died of a heart attack just 22 months ago at the age of 43. I doubt any of our family will ever get over it, but I am starting to remember all that was good in the 28 years I knew him.
Thanks for sharing your memories Bobbie.

me ann my camera said...

If one could reach out with a wordless hug you would receive so many today.

bobbie said...

Kate, Lily, Ann, thank you too. 33 years have allowed me to remember without tears - just wistful thoughts most of the time.
Friends, both on and off the web, help so much.

Kay said...

Oh Bobbie, I'm so sorry for your loss. Still, I'm glad you at least had that 18 year honeymoon which really is too short. Ralph sounds like he was truly a fabulous husband and father. I'm sending you a cyber hug here to add to the warm memories that you are wrapped in.


How I enjoyed your "My Husband" blog. looking at all the photo's it must have brought back such happy memories, I lost my husband 10 yrs ago on 9/11......3 yrs before your disaster but it's a day that stays etched in my mind.
Dispite you have unhappy memories of Thanksgiving day, I wish you a peaceful day, I will be thinking of you.


bobbie said...

Kay and Yvonne, you are very kind It must be a bit strange for you, Yvonne to deal with the loss of your husband on the anniversary, since it coincides with a date when you are constantly reminded by news reporters of other deaths.
And thanks to anyone who may make future comments here. I must move on, but I am grateful to you all.

Webradio said...

I'm sorry for You...

KG said...

Hang in there, dear. He sounds like he truly was a wonderful husband and father. I love reading your memory posts. They always remind me to enjoy what I have.

My best wishes that you will have a peaceful Thanksgiving.