It’s not a story about an affair or me being unfaithful to my wife of almost forty-four years. But it is a story about two neighbors in a small rural town. I won’t mention any names other than my own. After all for her it is a personal story and better left that way, personal.
The mailman or mail women as it is now days, left one of my neighbor’s letters in my mailbox by mistake. I had been really busy that morning but made it a point to get her mail to her.
As I rang the doorbell my neighbor, now a frail about eight-four year old lady came slowly to the door. I greeted her and asked how she was doing. I saw the struggle in her eyes as well as an air of loneliness.
I knew that her husband and my friend of the last almost eighteen years was now in a nursing home. He had now been there for about four months. He had started almost two and a half-years ago with early Alzheimer’s. Now two and a half years later he was in a nursing home, and his wife home alone.
They had raised two daughters who in adulthood had married and moved away to other states. one daughter many years later succumbed to cancer. The other daughter after a failed marriage move back near home again.
The daughter now near home having children of her own and grandchildren, travels back and forth to see her family. My neighbor who is home alone now, spends many long days and nights in the loneliness of her home.
It broke my heart to see her, a wife of a Navy Korean War Veteran, missing her husband, and in the final years of her life. these should be the golden years.
I told her to give me her phone number and I put it in my cell phone contacts. I assured her that from now on I would check on her daily, and gave her my phone number in return.
When I got home I told my wife who agreed I should check on her daily. The incident made me think hard about my marriage and wife. I am a Vietnam War veteran and served with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. I served a twenty-two and a half-year career in the Corps.
I met my wife on the island of Okinawa after nine months of combat duty, and being shipped to Okinawa after being wounded for the second time. That was in January of 1972, almost forty-four years ago.
Now two adult children and five grandchildren later, we are now also getting along in years. My heart broke for my neighbor because it suddenly crossed my mind, what if that was my wife. I realized at that moment, how much I love my wife.
It also crossed my mind that my friend and fellow veteran, must have felt the greatest of anguish, as he realized that he may have to leave his wife alone, without him. It also reminded me of my mother who will be eighty-seven in September 2016.
I miss my mother but I realize that she is blessed to be living with my older brother and his wife. She is blessed not to be alone. We lost my father a WWII era veteran in July of 2014.
When I get really down in the dumps over things like this, I sit in my room and play my Ukulele. On this day I played a song for the love I have for my wife. I may be an old sentimental fool finally, but I’m one who had been blessed to have been given a wonderful soul mate, and the greatest friend I could have ever hoped for.
Until The Twelfth Of Never
Roger A. Sanchez Sr. @ Gunny’s Mail Call