Another Sad Day

by Rudy

Today is another sad for me. The first day was May 22, 2014, when Louise died

Even though I am sad, I am grateful, too.

Grateful to the (2) earthlings who helped create Louise. She was my soulmate.

(43) years ago, I met Louise at Womack Army Hospital Fort Bragg, North Carolina during our military service.

Our (43) years together without calling each other harsh names flew by so fast.

Through the years, our different personalities strengthened our marriage like steel rods reinforce concrete.

Now we are apart, and I am crumbling. I am lonesome without Louise. But some day our bones will be together in eternity.

Days before her funeral I was jotting down what I would say at the service. I had written that we met at the emergency room during treatment of MASS CASUALTIES when an inexperienced soldier took what he believed was a harmless shell of a bomb to his barracks and it exploded. I had heard the announcement for all medical personnel to report immediately to the hospital. My barracks was across the hospital parking lot. Something prompted me to go to the emergency room where I saw Louise dressed in starched white uniform. I stared at her bulged eyes and told her they were beautiful. She looked at me and we smiled.

Next day I saw her in the chow line and struck up a conversation. We got our food and sat together – that was our routine. We started hanging out.

When I told Louise I love her, she responded, “I have a blood problem and a bad heart.” “Do you love me with these problems?” Her honesty was one reason why I loved her.
Later I realized that her heart problem was a heart murmur.

Louise had a good heart. Ironically, though, it killed her.

Louise had a diary during and after military service. When it was not on the dresser, it was in her handbag. I never read it. I was not jealous and trusted her 100%. Surprisingly though, while searching for her driver’s license I saw her handbag with wallet and the diary. Took the handbag to the living room, emptied the contents, and found her license in the wallet.

About two days later, while sitting in her favorite chair beside a bookshelf where I put the diary, and with nothing better to do, I skimmed through it. In less than five minutes, I was reading her words (“1971, Monday at about 11:30 pm there was MASS CASUALTIES, all medics called, about seven guys injured in explosion. I got acquainted with Rudy Simmons. He started to talk to me. He said I have beautiful eyes.”)

She recorded the exact words MASS CASUALTIES – military jargon still in my subconscious after (43) years. I should have read her diary while she was alive. So I could tell her thanks for the positive entries and telling the other guys who proposed marriage that she loves Rudy and is waiting for him. I had returned to New York City after discharge. She discharged one year later in September, and we married November 3, day after my birthday. After several miscarriages, 2 sons blessed our union. We have 4 grandchildren.

I come from a dysfunctional family of nine. Louise was my best friend. She was shy. Some of my relatives did not like her. Furthermore, most of her relatives disliked me. They said I am arrogant. Louise and I loved each other. She also loved family. Her relatives who shunned us were at the funeral. She would have been happier had they come around while she was living.

Lately I have been crying more frequently than before. I sit in her favorite chair, but cannot sleep in our bedroom. I have always been positive and goal oriented. Being alive, I can do much to honor Louise memory. I plan to give an endowment to her hometown college for a memorial scholarship.

I think about Louise everyday and sometimes wish I had died with her. However, I will go on living with the fond memories of us together and not hasten the day when our bones will be together.

I feel a little better as I write and cry. Before the day is over, I’ll cry some more.

Thanks for listening.


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