Author Topic: Glimpses into the man I married  (Read 1441 times)

Wheelerswife

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Glimpses into the man I married
« on: May 29, 2016, 09:00:58 AM »
I've made it my summer project to go through the things in my basement, most of which belonged to my second husband and his late wife.  My BIL will be here in a few weeks and I will be giving him some of my husband's things, particularly those from the decades before I knew him.  I want to go through those things before my BIL gets here, so I get the chance to set aside what I want to keep and I will know what he will be rummaging through.  My husband kept a lot of things.  He seems to have a paper trail of his entire life.  I've found things from grade school report cards to every single card and letter he ever received.  He even saved drafts of letters he sent people.  He was a very articulate man, and words meant everything to him.  He chose his words carefully, even in the midst of conversation.  I've been reading through letters from his first sweetheart, a girl also named Maureen.  He had spoken of her to me, but I didn't know he had saved her letters.  I found a box where, in manila envelopes, he had saved correspondence, receipts, news articles, and occasional photos from all of the significant relationships in his life. 

We met when I was in my late 40's and he was in his early 50's.  He pretty much gave me his life history in our early conversations, even before we met in person.  I knew about his "interesting" late teens, his disillusionment with the world around him, his affiliation with others who were experimenting with every hallucinogen they could get their hands on, his disappearance to work for a carnival to escape his overbearing mother.  But throughout all of that time, he still cultivated deep relationships with people, much of which is catalogued in the letters I have found.  From that point, he went on to have other significant relationships, a long-time girlfriend who broke his heart by cheating on him in grad school, his first wife, interests in other women after his divorce, his second wife, and then his marriage with me.   His best friends have told me that they liked how John had changed when he met me.  He was finally happy, they say.  Why then, did we have so little time together??

Today, I am going to burn much of what I have come across.  Although I don't think he would mind that I went back and read his history, I don't think that his thoughts would be something that he would want his brother seeing.  Of course, I will give his brother anything related to his family.  I can't carry all of this with me physically as my life moves forward, but reading all of these notes, cards and letters has reinforced to me what a truly beautiful man he was.  He was a one-of-a-kind, an old soul, one who made the world a better place in big ways and in small ways.  I don't know why it was that I only had him in my life for less than 4 years, but his impact has been huge.

Thank you, baby, for giving me so much.

Maureen
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 05:12:49 PM by Wheelerswife »
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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Lisa

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Re: Glimpses into the man I married
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 10:07:02 PM »
Quite an adventure.
"All the waves must reach the shore before the water calms"-Ray ♡

TooSoon

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Re: Glimpses into the man I married
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 08:57:53 AM »
Did I ever tell you the story about the nude photos I found of an ex-girlfriend who also happened to be a friend of ours?  At the time I couldn't decide if I should slip them in along with the photos from their trip to Europe that I was planning to give her or just get rid of them.  They were obviously made as material for a sculpture, I'm sure.  Now I can't remember what I decided to do!  Funny! 

I just wrote in another thread that I need to take to the basement next week.  Last May it was the studio and that was hard.  I'm not sure what the back room in the basement holds but I'm hoping there are no more nude photos of people I know!  Before A gets here in September, I want to have things pretty well sorted. 

I'll be thinking of you!  In the other thread someone mentioned taking photos of things you don't want to keep but might want to remember.  This seems like a very good idea to me. 

SoVerySad

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Re: Glimpses into the man I married
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016, 05:49:34 PM »
Maureen,

What a thoughtful, amazing man your John was. I'm sorry I never got the opportunity to meet him. I wish I could answer your question as to why you weren't able to have him with you longer. I've often asked myself the same thing, although T and I were together for many years. Why then? With children not yet grown? Why just as the kids were getting to an age we could have time in the evenings to ourselves? I've come to the conclusion there likely is no answer that would offer me any comfort - that would make it okay to no longer have him here. I just have to learn to live with what wasn't in my control, which is not an easy thing to do.

Sending you tight hugs...
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.

Trying

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Re: Glimpses into the man I married
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2016, 07:22:09 PM »
What a beautiful discovery that reinforces all you knew about the man he was.
You will forever be my always.

Wheelerswife

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Re: Glimpses into the man I married
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 10:04:39 PM »
What a beautiful discovery that reinforces all you knew about the man he was.

Yes, Donna, this is so true. 

I appreciate the support of my friends here.  I just don't think many people in my real life would understand the complexity of this kind of task.  I hope to whittle down my own possessions in the process...more so after I finish with John's brother, because I hope to never leave this much stuff behind for someone else to have to go through.  At the same time, I feel as though I can honor him in the process, protect his privacy, and put his property to the best use possible, all while savoring the memories I had with him.  I continue to realize the enormous impact he had on me in our brief but intense time together.  I'm still breathing, and although I haven't cried, I've been close to tears all weekend.

Sigh. 

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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Captains wife

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Re: Glimpses into the man I married
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2016, 07:57:12 AM »
That is beautiful - your second husband sounded like such a lovely, lovely man. Going through their things is such a trigger...I am finally tackling more boxes from my late husband and he also kept EVERYTHING from his life. It was very emotional to go through everything...piece by piece.....