Saturday, October 15, 2005

Another transition

It is difficult to explain (even to myself) how hard it was to trust anyone after having been lied to on a constant basis for a long time. Trusting myself was a nearly impossible task. My gut feeling as the result of a "first impression" had been tested and failed miserably too many times to be relied upon ever again. I became cynical, doubting, and totally insulated against everyone. And, I didn't like myself very much during this period in my life!

My family marvled at my "strength!" My friends never doubted that I would rebound quickly! Those with whom I worked, however, thought I was a time bomb about to go off at any time! My fellow workers offered me solace, comfort, and help - which I declined. I was certain there would be some kind of string attached to their assistance. Oh my, but I was a total wreck for about two years.

I worked, slept, ate when I had to, and worked! When I look back over that period of time, it startles me to know I was existing, but not living. There is a definitive difference between the two, but I couldn't see it at the time.

One Sunday evening, a neighbor of mine came by to visit with me - I hadn't seen her in a long time. We had been sitting in the kitchen chatting like magpies when she suddenly blurted out, "I've done something that will probably make you angry at me, but ask me if I care!" Imagine how I felt when she told me she had responded to a lovelorn column in the newspaper - using my name and phone number! To say I was flabbergasted would be putting it mildly! When I recovered from my shock, I then quickly became quite angry at her audacity. I am not a cussing woman, but I came very close to loosing my correct usage of the English language that day.

During a lull in my tirade about what she had done, she very calmly announced I should expect a phone call within a matter of minutes! Off I went into another tangent! It was not pretty!

Sure enough, the phone rang about twenty minutes later. I can still feel the anger I had within my very being at that moment when I picked up the phone and in a very sarcastic tone said "Hello."
I heard a very nice man's voice ask to speak to Wease (my alias for most of my life). I recall practically screaming "Speaking," all the while shaking all over with a combination of anger and terror! When I said "This isn't a good time for me to talk to anyone," he very politely told me he would call me back at another time. And, I thought, that is that!

The following Sunday evening, at practically the same time, the telephone rang and it was that same man's voice I heard on the other end! He quickly stated he had been informed by my neighbor I hadn't been looking for a fellow but I could use a good friend and all he wanted was to become my friend. He told me his name, where he lived, what kind of work he did, how old he was, and all other information he thought was pertinent for me to know. I told him nothing! I wasn't interested one bit and told him so! And, I thought that is that! When the next Sunday rolled around and he didn't call, I was sure that was that!

Upon checking the mailbox on the ensuing Monday evening, I found a thick envelope addressed to me with no return address. On the front porch was a long, slender box which had been delivered by Federal Express. There was a dozen yellow roses in the box and the envelope contained a very long, handwritten letter to me from the faceless voice I had heard on the telephone two times! It was the first time in my life I had received flowers from ANYONE, and I was blown away by the fact he somehow knew yellow roses are and always have been my favorite! The letter was not a love letter - it stated very matter-of-factly who he was and what he was all about. It had been a very long time since I had cried, but that evening the crying I did came from within the depths of my soul. My healing had begun!

After that, we corresponded (by snail mail) and talked on the telephone a LOT. After six months had elapsed, we agreed to finally meet. I chose the Cracker Barrel in town as he would be in the area on that particular day and I felt meeting in a very public place would lend me some sense of security! As we'd not even exchanged photos, I kiddingly told him I would be the gal sitting in one of the rocking chairs out front with a paper sack on her head - never dreaming I would actually do just that! I took that Saturday afternoon off from work, dicky dooded myself up, and fixed a huge paper grocery sack with eye holes to wear over my head. When his van (which he had described to me) pulled up, there I was - sitting in a rocking chair with the paper sack over my head and a crowd of folks had gathered to see what in world was going to take place. When he walked up to me, I stuck out my hand and said, "You must be Kermit." He removed the sack from my head and literally hollered, "And you are Wease - I'd have known you anywhere!" The crowd applauded as we shook hands and that was the beginning of my life!

We married a year later in his mother's house - a very simple ceremony. I moved into his very small house in a very small town south of where I had been living and now live. For the first time in my life, I felt cherished, loved, and giddy with complete trust and happiness. I mentioned one day I had dreamed of going to college ever since I graduated from highschool. He made it possible for me achieve that dream. How very proud he was of my accomplishments. How tickled he would get when he would receive my grades in an envelope addressed "To the parents of...." He must have spent a veritable fortune on yellow roses. Those years - and I never believed I would use this word - bliss are cherished beyond anyone's imagination.

We sold his house and had begun to move back into my home. He was scheduled for retirement from his position a week after my graduation. One week prior to my graduation, we were taking a load of junk from the barn to the dump in his pickup truck. While driving down the highway at a pretty good clip, he patted me on my knee and told me "I'm so glad you are my wife." I gave him a quick hug and responded, "I'm so glad you are my husband." About 10 seconds later, he gasped and fell over in my arms. Somehow I got the pickup stopped and I quickly realized my husband had just died.

Because my mind is a complete blank about what happened thereafter, I've been told by many people what transpired during the next couple of weeks. I handled all the funeral arrangements, attended my graduation, and had a house full of family and friends who had come to celebrate my graduation. The first thing I remember after that horrific split second in the pickup truck is about a month later (everyone had gone their separate ways I'm told) I was sitting at the kitchen table doing a crossword puzzle. And it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was once again ALONE. And, I wasn't ready for yet another transition!


Blogger Milt Bogs said...

For mickey_finn.

3:40 PM PDT  
Blogger Patty said...

You have had one heck of a journey through life. I hope the last part will be the best ever for you.

I love yellow roses to, I think it's because you don't see them as often as the pink, red, or white ones. We use to have one in our back yard that was a pale lavender and did it ever smell good, just like an old fashion rose smell.

Have a good day,
Your Blogging Friend

6:55 AM PDT  

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