Chapter 2

I cannot remember life without you!

  It started with a pink dress and a flower.


When you were married for 50 years and seven months and together for 57 years, it becomes hard to remember what life was like before we met. At least it has been hard for me to remember.
      I was sixteen and she was 15. I invited her to our annual high school Sweetheart Dance. It was held at the Masonic Temple in Clarksburg.
     She wore a cute little pink dress with a high waste that had a flower in the center. A ribbon was attached, and it went all the way around the dress. When we slow danced, that flower hit me right at the base of sternum. Funny as it may seem, I can still feel that flower pressing against my chest.
      That is when it all began, a very special love affair. It grew so strong over the years, my life before her began to fade away. Last week, I was sitting in the garden, just thinking. Oh, the years. I realized I have lived two lives. The one before that little pink dress comes and goes. The images are unclear and constantly changing.
    Little did I realize how quickly that cute little girl, although a little on the skinny side, wearing that pink dress was about to change my life forever.  
   A little over six years later, we were married. Then, the next 50 years went by at the speed of light. Now, I sit alone with only the memories, memories that make me cry and smile at the same time. I still hear her voice, see her image in the window when I am outside, and hear her footsteps coming down the stairs. I now understand why I cannot remember much of my life before her.
            Right now, my grief is like staring at the clouds, it is constantly shifting and moving in all directions. I have thoughts of: Disbelief. Anger. Regrets. I scream. Cry a lot. I resent seeing couples my age – our age. I ask God, “Why…so young?” Love remembered. Nights shared.
     I once wrote, “The depth of grief is measured by the strength of love.” It is that love that will allow me not to conquer this grief, but be to manage it, and to once again see a blue sky.
Meanwhile, I write and ramble…and I heal a little and inch forwad.
And, by the way,  Sandra, “I love you more” – Mike