Marrying A Surrogate
When Gabe died he took all that was labeled love with him.
He had filled every atom of Sandy's life. It was impossible to believe he could be gone and she still alive.
Everyone in his ambit had measured Gabe as more than the sum of them, a truly unique man who had gained that undying love poets write about.
It was this that made mourning him different from an average mortal.
Gabe had died in war, a hero. Sandy, who had only been his live in lover, not his wife, didn’t get a flag, just a look at a sealed box.
His parents never liked her. Never felt she was 'right' for Gabe. Considered her a 'tramp' who would live with a man without a wedding ring.
They didn’t want her in their home and pointedly told her so.
There, at Gabe's funeral, his mother, her face contorted in hate, as if Sandy had drafted and sent her son to die, made a tragic situation that much worse.
Alone, so alone
Sandy left the funeral for her flat. The flat where Gabe had lived with her.
She walked the empty rooms, touching his things, remembering, and the thought
he'd be home in six months obstructed all that was contrary.
It just seemed to Sandy that Gabe wasn't really dead.
This was confirmed by the receipt of letters he had written her. They began to arrive on the following Wednesday.
When she got the first letter she thought; "oh they'd made a mistake, they buried the wrong men..." but seeing the date it had been written....
Sandy carefully read and answered each letter as if Gabe were still alive, and would read her pretty words..
The letters she had written, which were returned unopened, she put them into 'his' drawer.
Sandy didn't give away his clothes, she washed them and put them where they belonged, in his closet or drawer and went on with her life as if ...
as if...he would be home in a few hours.
It took Sandy somewhat over six full months for his physical death to be accepted.
For her to stop expecting him to walk in the door.
His body was gone, yet his spirit remained with her.
Sandy would speak to Gabe as if he were there, and If she was still and calm,
would hear his voice.
They had planned to marry and move to a quaint village, and live near the lake. Sandy saved her money, and as soon as she could afford it, she did as they’d planned.
She spent her free time doing the handiwork Gabe had so loved.
When she completed the cedar wood breakfast nook she said;
“Thanks Gabe, it’s perfect...” for he had guided her hands.
As Time goes by...
Sandy lived in the house she and Gabe had dreamed of. She had a job at a Florists and as the owner was old and some what senile, Sandy was pretty much on her own.
Sandy opened the shop in the morning, closed it in the evening, carrying her lunch
She made just enough money to live; pay her bills, buy her food, and once and
a while a new pair of shoes.
Each evening, when she arrived home she would tell Gabe about her day, and listen to his opinions. They'd watch T.V. together, then go to bed.
It was three years after Gabe's physical death, he told her to marry and have kids.
He loved kids and they'd planned on having as many as they could.
Sandy agreed with Gabe and let him guide her. He selected a decent chap called Mark.
After a year of dating, Sandy and Mark married. After another year, her first son was born. She named him Gabriel.
She never told Mark not in word, or reference or expression that between the ages
of eighteen and twenty she had lived with a man she loved with every atom of her
being, a man who owned her soul...a man so beyond others none could reach his ankle.
A man who was drafted and sent to war and experienced physical death.
She never let Mark know he was the sperm donor for Gabe’s children any more
than she let him know that Gabe was a constant presence in their home.
The worst Mark could think of her is that she was shy and undemonstrative,
perhaps a bit too reclusive, but other than that, she was the perfect wife and mother.
After forty years of marriage, three children, and seven grandchildren, Mark died.
There was the funeral, and people commented on how strong Sandy was.
For her, Mark's passing meant that she and Gabe could be alone, together.