Portrait of a Marriage

Theirs was not a perfect marriage, but it spanned sixty-three years and produced three sons, one daughter, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was a simple man; she was a sensitive woman. He was a Korean War Veteran, a pharmacist who owned his own business and an eternal optimist; she was a tennis player, a gardener, a good friend to many and a nurturing mother. He could be a stern father and husband, but her soft edges made him sorry that he was often abrupt. She loved Christmas; he loved college football; they believed in the same God and worshipped together at their Methodist church each Sunday morning. He took care of her health, and she made sure he was well-fed. She was prone to depression, and he was inclined to addiction. He liked to tell dirty jokes, and she would roll her eyes, laughing secretly. They liked to sit on the screened-in porch in the evenings with a glass of wine looking for cardinals landing on the bird feeder in the backyard - she always called them red birds. They lived on a cul-de-sac in a ranch brick house for fifty-five years.

He defined himself by the healing powers of medicine that he dispensed, unfortunately, she needing the healing power of medicine throughout much of her life. He took care of her in her last five years of illness, made lists of her medications and charts when to administer them. She slept most days and awoke in hallucinogenic states from the opioids prescribed for pain. He didn’t understand that he had lost her because she will still living, and it frustrated him, but he kept her body alive for more years than anyone anticipated. His “Junebug” passed away on February 9, 2018. Sam died unexpectedly six months and 17 days after his beloved wife.

 Portrait of a Marriage is dedicated to the memory of my parents whose marriage was never perfect, but based on a commitment to continue loving and forgiving each other no matter the circumstance, no matter the difficulty.