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Saturday, April 11, 2015

She held his hand...

photo by Melvin E Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/50521389@N08/

The pair spent part of their first day together opening their wedding presents over brunch. Family and friends had gathered to continue wishing them the best that fortune could offer. Rarely sitting next to each other during the hustled morning, as each still tended to their respective family members, she would still catch him staring at her. A glance he would never tire of.

Adjacent chairs helped ease the opening of the stacks of gifts. Care was taken to track the giver, so that the generosity could be appreciated when time permitted. During some brief breaks in the seemingly endless unwrapping, she held his hand...

With an 'oomph', the rented Lincoln Town Car's trunk was successfully closed like a road vacation suitcase. Out of space, the overflow gifts were displaced to the backseat. Goodbyes were said, kisses given, tears were released, and then the pair drove away toward their new life together.

Once on the highway, the miles passed without tally as she held his hand...

Even though they approached the incident at highway cruising speed, the terrible scene unfolded in slow-motion. It wasn't immediately clear what had occurred, but something had gone horribly wrong. Cars were stopped off to both sides of the highway. People were running towards the debris field and beyond. There were no sirens, they were miles away from where anyone could hear them. The groom joined the scene and for the first time in his married existence, he lost track of his wife.

The SUV had rolled in violence multiple times and was far removed from the road from where it once traveled in a predictable straight line. Every rotation of the vehicle resulted in its contents being sprayed without concern for their importance. The vehicle's energy was expended in luggage, papers, and car parts. The scattershot of debris created a macabre path along the highway's slope towards the tree line and came to an abrupt end. The newlywed groom's stomach suddenly felt hollow when he realized that the vehicle's occupants had not been wearing their seat belts.

The male passenger was in distress. Bleeding, immobile, and screaming, he needed to be moved from the spot from where he landed after ejection. The newlywed joined another and they carefully moved him to a more secure spot. The larger crowd gathered their collective strength to lift the vehicle just enough so that the female occupant could be released from the crush of the vehicle. They made a vain attempt to check for life, while the man screamed into the ear of the groom. The newlywed couldn't answer the broken voiced plea "where's my wife, where's my wife?" It was the saddest thing he had ever heard and wouldn't be trumped until his own shriek at the death of his mother years later.

The people trained to deal with these things and their equipment were soon to arrive and there was nothing further for the amateurs to do. The couple got back into their overstuffed car, looked at each other and cried. The scene would remain in his mind's eye and forever remind him how lucky he was. The remainder of the trip was mostly silent as they tried to process the destruction and reconcile the contrast between their happiness and the suddenness of tragedy, as she held his hand...

Sometimes when they're driving, he'll reach over and touch her arm. Just to be sure. Sure that she's there. Sure that she's safe. An assurance to her that he loves her.

Through hospital crash carts, mortgage signings, and their son getting on his first bus, she held his hand...

Through the frightening and the sublime, the marvelous and mundane, through victories and defeats. Through promotions and job losses at the hands of hacks. Through the boring and exhilarating, emergency rooms, and rock concerts. Through everything for 28 years, she's held his hand...

The one who holds me up when I want to fall down. She's held my hand for the past 28 years. To my everything, Happy Anniversary.

With all that I am, I love you Lisa.

Thanks for reading, Eric


  1. I was just looking for the last time. Thanks for the description!

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