Carl sat gazing at the picture. It was all so many years ago … it seemed like a time warp. He and Jean were so happy – they truly lived the American Dream. That is how he always thought of it – American Dream – in capital letters. He worked for Tyler industries from the day he graduated from college. That was to be expected in those days – you were hired somewhere, and you stayed with the company. They became your second family – you were loyal to them, and they were loyal to you. He was lucky – he had worked there for over forty years, with promotions coming in due course, and his retiring as company Vice President.
Jean was so proud of him – and he of her. She ran the house, took care of the kids, attended business functions with him, was there for the other wives when she was needed … whatever she thought needed to be done, she did. They were blessed that it was many years into his retirement before she became ill. She was there one day, gone the next. Well, it took six months, but it seemed to fly by in an instant. She was buried in the cemetery where they had purchased joint plots, under a large oak tree. It was lovely there, and he visited often.
Lee, their oldest daughter, had become a doctor. She herself was now retired, and lived with her husband Ed in Georgia. Jason, their son, was still practicing law in Connecticut, although he was only a year or so from retirement. He and his wife Carol were planning on doing some traveling in his retirement, revisiting places that had been over the years. Jewel, their youngest daughter, had died of breast cancer over ten years ago. Her husband had never remarried. He had an active life, but he had never gotten over his wife’s death.
They had grandchildren, and great grandchildren, spread across the globe. They kept in touch, like a giant web of love and support.
The picture in Carl’s hands was from Easter Sunday, 1948. It was a joyful time, a time when all was right with the world. He had many blessed memories to tide him over the bad spots, many heart moments that he would never forget. Easter Sunday now was different for him, but that Easter Sunday would remain etched in time.
(c) April 2011 Bonnie Cehovet