We were born generations and worlds apart. He was a B-24 pilot in the South Pacific during WW II. He left a legacy, along with those who served in all theaters of the war, of bravery, courage and love of our country to his family and nation. He represented a whole country's history and hope and freedom. Oh how he loved his freedom and knew the fearful reality of giving up the fight. He was a member of the 5th AF, 380th Bombardment Group (fondly known as the Flying Circus), 528th squadron. His generation is fast fading into memory, just as the white contrails of jet planes leave lingering evidence that they were there also fades and lives in our memories. Service men and women can look into a comrade's (past and present) eyes with understanding and appreciation beyond our glimmer of understanding. I saw this many times at reunions and with random handshakes with current and past military personnel. This was my only jealously, that I could not share this understanding he had with others, some complete strangers.
It has been almost 10 months since my husband of thirty-nine years passed away. I was tempted to use the word left but, that would feel as though he left my heart as well. I just hope I will never feel him gone from my heart. He was struggling to stay with me, but the time had come and this parting could not be stopped. He was weak, fragile, and oh so tired. For more than two years I had watched his health and energy decline. One knows time is not always on your side and I would urgently plead with him to push himself beyond the desire to quit or slow down. And because he loved me, he would struggle to regain energy and strength. I am grateful for his endurance and can only pray he felt it was worth the strife.
Bill, I struggled to see things as you saw them. We were so very different and yet committed to the same ideas and beliefs. We had a gap of 25 years and I am sometimes puzzled how and why that worked for 39 years (but ever so grateful it did). We managed to love and trust each other, although you were so very much better at letting things go. I would worry, you would trust. I would fret and you would rest. I would hurry and you would enjoy. I would anticipate and you would accept. I would be selfish and you would adjust. I would control and you would support. And, I would love you and you would still manage to love me all the more.
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