In May, I will have completed 85 journeys around the sun. I will hop on the Lewes-Cape May ferry with my daughter and then drive to Tarrytown, NY, to celebrate. We will visit three distinctive homes—one a John D. Rockefeller mansion, one a Jay Gould castle, and one a modest home of Washington Irving. These are my old stomping grounds, where I graduated from Irvington High School a long time ago. I then married and had two children but eventually moved to Connecticut in 1969 when my husband changed careers. I could have stayed there forever.

I spent the first nine years of my marriage living in a lovely farmhouse on South Broadway built in 1735. The farmhouse is the one with the red roof. I wish I had a better photo of it. The larger building was built in the 1930s to house the former owner’s automobile collection.

Living in the small town of Tarrytown was wonderful, where I birthed my children in what is now called Sleepy Hollow, NY. I was active in my church, the Union Church of Pocantico Hills, which the Rockefellers built, and the local community theater, the Beechwood Players. I was even a “Cheery Cherry Lady” volunteer at the Phelps Memorial Hospital which is now condominiums. Most of all, I enjoyed being a young wife and mother. We had many friends, entertained often, and threw a huge party in our home once a year. I always loved putting that together. Sometimes, I think I should have been an event planner.

I was somehow elected President of the Beechwood Players by folks who thought I had a modicum of leadership ability. I really think it was because I had an electric IBM typewriter and wrote a fair-to-middling newsletter. The Beechwood Players were only famous because Peter Falk was a graduate. Us older folks will remember him as Detective Columbo in the popular TV show of the same name. He had quite an illustrious career, and you can Google him on Wikipedia.

This trip will be full of nostalgia as we ride around and see my high school, the church, and the Irvington Boat Club, where we motored around in our 16′ Chris Craft runabout. One year, we even motored down the Hudson River to New York City to watch the fireworks. I’m sure I’ll pass Matheison Park, where, much to my surprise, I won the homemade kite-flying contest. And, of course, I’ll drive by the old farmhouse and recall an abundance of memories.

On my special day, we will celebrate by enjoying a gourmet meal at a fine eatery hosted by my eldest daughter and son-in-law. We will, for sure, toast to the next fifteen years. Why? Because my goal has always been to live to be 100. With only 15 more years to go, I’m beginning to think I might make it.

It’s Never Too Late – Or Maybe It Is

It is never too late my writing buddies say. Well, that is good news because I have three writing projects that are on eternal hold since my spouse Ralph died.  Actually, only two because the third idea came after his death. The first is to finish my novel on domestic abuse with some detail on the divorce process and pain, the second is an article about the advantages and disadvantages of being ordained at the age of 60 or older, and the third a book of the love-letters Ralph and I wrote to each other over the period of a year. 

I’ve always thought it was strange that we had stopped writing to each other once we moved in together, but we did.  One year for our anniversary we decided to write each other a love letter. It wasn’t the same. It didn’t have the same yearning, the same ardor, the same sense of romance and excitement. You see, while together we were living our love letters in action, while apart we lived in an unfulfilled void that was only filled with letters. Not filled with our actions together, hugs, snuggles in bed, lovemaking, kisses, “I love you’s,” joy as we laughed together, sorrow as we wept in each other’s arms.  The ability to share our stories, our days, our feelings, our hopes, and dreams. To touch, to hold hands as we walked down the street together, or the fun of tossing a meal together, or the happiness of sharing a meal at a fancy restaurant. The kind of togetherness that only best friends and soulmates enjoy together until death comes to one or the other.  When only memories of their glory days as one soul fill the hole ripped out of one’s heart as the other’s heart ceases to beat and the beat of grief takes over the one left behind. The one left behind to ache and weep and mourn until that precious and cleansing tincture of time heals and closes the wound while the memories become pearls of comfort, carried along until that last breath of a beautiful relationship crosses over into the spiritual realm where all souls dwell.