Some More Reflections
What follows are random thoughts about life with Deborah.
‒ Whenever we had an argument or disagreement, Deb was usually right. I seldom told her that she was right, which speaks poorly of me. However, if she were paying any attention, she would have realized that I concluded that she was right. Most of the time, I tried to change things so that such an argument would not occur in the future.
‒ As far as I know, I was the only one who prayed for Deb to get well. Every prayer uttered in my presence was a mealy-mouth-God-comfort type of prayer. One of those types of prayers that cannot be verified whether it was answered. Since I was praying for Deb to be healed and to come home disease free and she did not, then that means one of three things. One is God lies. Two is that the Bible is written the way that a shyster lawyer writes a contract: a bold promised is made in one place, but voided in another. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus says, “Ask and it shall be given. . . . For everyone who asks receives. . . .” As I asked and did not receive, then this simple promise must have been voided elsewhere. That is deception, which is a lie. (One popular response to unanswered prayer is that the prayer did not have enough faith. How much faith is enough? When the number of failed prayers is considered, that must be a humanly impossible threshold to cross. Up to the last day, I thought that Deb was going to come home. Based on the quoted verse all the faith that one needs to have is faith to ask.) Three is that someone was praying for her death and God valued that person’s prayer more than everyone praying for her to be healed. (I would not be surprised if people at hospice were praying for her death. Those people love death.)
‒ Once we married, I always considered the money that I earned as “our” money. It was as much Deb’s and mine, i.e., it belonged to the family. She had the hardest time comprehending that concept. For the longest time, she considered the money that I earned as mine. One of the first things that I did after we married was to put her name on my checking and savings accounts.
‒ At one of Deb’s street shows in Wake Forest, a woman came up to Deb’s art car with her daughter. She commented to her daughter that Deb’s painting was a color-by-the-number painting. That comment really made Deb angry. She could hardly restrain herself.
‒ When she had her art car, she used it at all her street shows to display her art that she was selling.
‒ When I married Deb, down inside myself, I expected nothing but an idealistic, dreamlike marriage. Deb delivered it. Our marriage was not always smooth. We needed time to adjust to each other. We never gave up and worked on solving and eliminating conflict. Over time, our marriage did run smoothly and became idyllic with little conflict.
‒ We used to have a Jonathan apple tree, which died. Deb liked Jonathan apples and wanted me to plant another one. After I retired, I finally got around to planting another one. However, it has never borne any fruit. She will never eat an apple from that tree.
‒ Deb brought me the happiest 30 years of my life — the only years worth living. She made my dreams come true. I believe that I did the same for her although she never did become a renowned artist. Nevertheless, she had a devoted husband, who tried to love her more than she loved him. I had a devoted wife who always succeeded in loving me more than I loved her.
‒ The year of 2011 was a year of a great blessing and a great curse. I was blessed with the honor and privilege of serving Deb during her last months of life. I was cursed with the failure of not protecting her from hospice.
‒ When Deb died, so did I. Not physically of course, but I died every other way. My great punishment for failing her is to linger on as a lonely, unhappy old man — doomed forever to eat alone, to sleep alone, and to be alone. I fear that I am condemned to relive the 1970s, the worst decade of my life. It was a decade of loneliness, with defeat after defeat. I was nothing — unwanted and lost. No one wanted anything that I had to offer: love, devotion, fidelity, and the like — totally worthless virtues. I fear that never again will I know the happiness and joy that she brought. Getting over grieving her was easy compared to going on living without her. That is living as opposed to existing. I need hope, but hope does not exist. Instead of looking forward to a future without her, I need to look forward to a future with someone. Without that I would rather die quickly and join her.
‒ Deb is the only woman whoever saw anything of value in me. I fear that she will remain the only woman to do so. No one else will find what she found. Unless someone does, I have no future. Existence not life lies ahead. May it be short.
Copyright © 2011 by Thomas Coley Allen.
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