Caroline, my partner in every sense of the word
by, Oct 9th 2009 at 03:41 PM (1533 Views)
As many of you know on Oct. 6th my wife died. Since none of you have ever had the chance to meet her, let me tell you a little about this incredible woman that it has been my honor to have a part of my life for the last 20 years. It probably won’t surprise you to know that we met in church. Actually in the same church that I am still a member of. We were attending an evening Bible Study. I say we but I was not always there as I often had to work, but I went as often as I could. I sat on one side of her and the man that became my best man at our wedding sat on the other. She called us her bookends.
I only lived a few blocks from the church so I walked. Caroline gave me a ride home. We soon discovered we shared a mutual interest. Books. Caroline loved to read and any time I have a book in my hand I am content. On those nights when she would give me a ride home we would end up spending hours talking, mostly about books. We soon became very good friends.
However, it wasn’t our love of books that started us moving toward a relationship that was more than just friends. That honor goes to the fact that she was a retired nurse. You see, I got sick. Those of you who know me, know that I NEVER get sick. However, on the rare occasion that it happens, it’s a dozy. This time I was so sick I couldn’t even keep water down. I knew I had to get some help. It was a case of try and drive up to my sisters house, a 35-40 minute trip, not a pleasant prospect, or go over to Caroline’s, just a few blocks away.
That is how I ended up on her doorstep as sick as a dog. She brought me in, sat me down and then went and got something for me. As she handed it to me she said, “Here, drink this. It will either make it better or bring it up. Either case is better than where you are now.” A very wise woman. I drank it, got better and we started growing closer.
To state the obvious, Caroline and I never were the “normal” couple. After all, how could we be? When we got married she was twice my age. But it worked. It worked because the Lord had brought us together. It had to be God, only God would think of a pair like us. And I never actually asked her to marry me, we never did anything the ordinary way. What brought it about was I had been trying to picture my life without her in it, and I couldn’t. So one day while we were walking around, I can’t even remember where we were, except I think it was at a shopping center somewhere, I turned to her and something to the effect “I guess we should make this legal.”
Even our wedding wasn’t “normal.” We didn’t plan it. It just grew. Our friends threw us a wedding. Since it was the second wedding for both of us our original thought was to just go into the ministers office with a couple witnesses and get married. Then we got to thinking and thought of a couple friends we would like to have there. And then a few others found out and said they wanted to come. And then a few others. Then someone said “are you…” and took over that, and then someone else wanted to help her. And, before we knew it, our friends were throwing us a wedding. And there couldn’t have been a better wedding if we had planned it.
As you would expect, Caroline soon became involved in my other passion, music. She even paid for some of my voice lessons. As some in the choir at our church will remember, Caroline was a regular member for some time. She decided to join when one Sunday 3 people in a row asked her when she was joining the choir. She told the third “I’ll be there Wednesday.” She didn’t have much, if any, experience in singing in a choir so she didn’t know what part she sang, so the director tested her. When he got done he said “My God, you’re a bass,” and she was. I was singing Tenor at the time and she could sing lower than I could.
Caroline was a true partner to me in every since of the word. We even read each other’s minds. You think I’m joking? Hardly a week, sometimes hardly a day, went by that didn’t have one of us saying something the other was thinking causing the other to exclaim, “get out of my mind.” The ordinary things like Caroline being cold and me getting up to adjust the temperature without either of us speaking happened so often that we never paid attention to it. It’s when things got totally off the wall that we really noticed them. Like the time when we were leaving Sunday school and out of the blue I turned to her and said “You know we ought to do …with….” And she had been thinking the same thing. That one wasn’t the strangest one. For some reason we were trying to think of the most awful combination for a pizza (no we were not going to order it, and don’t ask me why we were doing it. I can’t remember.) We had come up with an anchovy and ice cream pizza and one of said, and the other was thinking “extra pickle.” Like I said, we never were “ordinary.”
Caroline was my partner in a way that nobody else could have been. Whether it was following me around to my rehearsals and performances, and don’t even think of suggesting she stay home, had I suggested that we would have had our only fight, and it would have been a dozy, and I would have lost. Or helping me pick out music, I have over 5 hours of taped accompaniment, most of which we picked out together. Or holding me as I cried when my Dad died. Or helping me get over my divorce, yes I was still struggling with that and she helped me get over it. No mater what it was, Caroline was my partner, and was with me through it all.
But as much as Caroline loved me, she loved Christ more. When I met her she was a strong Christian and over the years she got stronger. When invited to become a Lay Speaker she jumped at the chance and continued in that for many years. She even preached at an evening service or 2, if I remember correctly. She loved the Lord and prayed regularly, even praying for things like finding lost keys. If there is someone reading this that is not a Christian, or isn’t as close to the Lord as you should be. Please stop now and do it. The idea that her life had spurred someone to come to Christ would thrill her no end. The Bible says that all of heaven rejoices when one sinner comes to Christ, and I know that Caroline would be leading in the celebration.