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Forty-nine years ago, when my late husband and I moved to Marynook, we were very excited. We had purchased our very first home. We didn’t socialize with our neighbors; they were too busy taking flights to “all-white” suburban areas. Maybe that was a good thing. In fact, it was because our new neighbors, Saretta
and Richard Robertson became our “friends for life.”
Well, Saretta, here we are celebrating the life of your beloved husband. What can I say? You and those who know me know I like to say witty things that bring smiles and good cheer to others. So, what can one friend say to another friend whose husband has slipped away?
I could say that I know what you’re going through because I, too, have walked the same path. I could even say I feel your pain, but do I really? Is the pain the same for everyone? I could say that you did your best during your marriage, remaining committed to your vows, “in sickness and in health,” but only God knows that, although knowing you personally, I believe you did.
I could remind you that the bible says, “Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
I could say, hold tight to your memories of Richard.
Dwell on the happy times: the backyard bar-b-que when Richard burned the chicken and took credit for discovering Cajun cooking.
The Friday night fish fry when he helped to perpetuate the lie that his friend and neighbor had caught the fish in Minnesota when he knew darn well the fish came from the fish market on 71st Street. Richard’s endless jokes would tell, some corny but most causing you to wonder why he didn’t do stand-up instead of his job at Delta where he didn’t get paid for causing his co-workers to laugh all day long.
Remember the eta Gala when you insisted that Richard wear a tuxedo, but when he saw what some of the other men had on, he went into the men’s room and came out with the bowtie and cumberbund stuffed in his pocket; the hilarious video he filmed while on a Caribbean cruise. Like a real pro, he added beautiful music but forgot to edit out Donita’s non-stop laughter that sounded like the mating call of a hyena.
I could say remember the vacations, the picnics, the family reunions, the parties; the nights at the races, the holiday gatherings, the weddings, and the parties; the births of your grandchildren, the christenings, the graduations, and the parties; the anniversaries, the stage plays, the retirements, and the parties. I could say remember the private moments you spent, just the two of you, resting…. after the parties. I could say, remember the many people and friends whose lives the two of you touched and those who touched your lives.
I could say all of those things, but…I won’t.
I’ll just say, partings, losses, and permanent changes affect all of our lives, and yet, we must go on, moving forward, alive with our faith and hope.
So. Saretta, weep if you must, but if you truly believe there is a God, a smile will emerge through your tears, and you will know that He will wash those tears away, and everything will truly be…in divine order.
“Your forever friend”
October 3, 2012
Written by Christine Houston
Posted by Cathy Milne-Ware
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of kiyonobu Ito’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Partick Nauhailler’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License