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Short story

She was born and a few days later she got married. She could hardly remember a time when Bob wasn’t an inportant part of her life.

They met in high school, a suburb of the north side of Chicago. Joyce was a freshman, Bob the big senior voted the funniest in his class; a six footer with sand colored hair, green eyes and freckles.  Who could resist him? Not Joyce who made up her mind, setting her cap, the way people spoke in the forties. Like a detective on the scent, she tracked down his schedule to find out where he’d be at homeroom. where everyone had to be at 10 a.m.

Racing up to the fourth floor domain of the seniors, the freshman , wearing a red plaid pleated skirt, red cashmere sweater set with Peter Pan collar dickey and white bobby socks with white and brown saddle shoes, ran up three flights, taking the stairs two at a time.

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A love letter to my lost one

We were the best couple ever, always loving and together since high school. Our motto was Marriage is one long conversation. And it was. We had our children, lost two, the Air Force years were remarkable. I was so proud of you, my handsome pilot. Civilian life proved to be tough but we made it, always talking things over, figuring out life’s problems together. The older boys chose to play guitars just as you did. Lessons, the basement arranged for their instruments and then a new era began. The seventies, the dawning of Aquarius, girls stopped wearing bras, and marijuana spread through the schools. We didn’t know it would also spread into our home. Life changed drastically as you went off to work and I was left at home with two little ones and two teens out of control.

My love, they never changed, our older children. After that , it became us, the small kids, and them. A few years later, your heart required a pacemaker. From then on you listened to your heart and forgot about me. Thirty seven years of happiness and suddenly, I was alone with a houseful of kids. You had a fever that wouldn’t go down. Doctor put you in the hospital for examination. After a few days of visiting, we sat together so sad life had changed for us. You looked at me the old way, so dear and loving, and said, “I love you.” We kissed and said goodbye.

2:30 in the morning the doctor called. Hurry, he said. By the time I arrived , you were gone.

How can I express the loss of my dearest? I can’t and it was a long time ago. So I say, “Happy Birthday wherever you are.”

My question is you were 56 when I lost you and I have aged. Have you or are you the same hale and hearty kind of guy I met in high school and we fell in love.

P.S. The older sons abandoned me after taking all the money you left to give me a comfortable life. All gone and so are they. Bad words to them from you and me.

Our two younger kids are all grown-up. Our son is married to an extraordinary woman, a fabulous artist. He continues with his artistic life of performing. They live in Denmark. Our beautiful girl grew up to be a teacher and the dearest daughter. We have a granddaughter you would love to pieces, she’s so smart and delightful. She’s nine and plays on a basketball team. You should see her guard. Or maybe you do. I wonder.

I had a bad fall and daughter and granddaughter saved my life. It’s been a difficult time, my love.

Veterans Loved and still Love

I wrote a book Farewell/Hello taking my experiences from life to weave them into this story. Picture 1944, an era prior to the Korean War. Chastity was still valued especially in the home where I grew up. From the time I was very young, mother said to  beware of boys. They wanted ‘privileges’ from pretty girls like me. I didn’t understand what she meant by that word. And then I met the most popular boy in high school and fell in love. He carried my books home from school. He met my parents. Father was very stern. Who was the boy? His father owns a chicken store on the West side and a building near us. So what. He’s not good enough for you!

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For the first time in my young life, I didn’t listen. In my own quiet way, I knew in my heart this boy would be mine. We would marry one day and have a good life.And then the war came along. He enlisted in the Army before his Draft number was called. He knew he’d get into the Air Corp soon.

I went to school head up, tears in check., still the virgin and when I graduated, I went to Purdue University in Indiana. On Sundays we found a way to call each other even though I dated football players, basketball players , neglected homework, kissed a lot of guys but allowed NO PRIVILEGES! After two years of having fun, Dad said NO MORE and I went home to enroll in a wonderful art school on Michigan Boulevard. Five days a week!

My sweetheart did become a part of the Strategic Air Command headed up by General Curtis Le May.

Farewell/Hello is a fictionalized story of that era combined with touches of my pilot and me. We married, raised a batch of kids. He served our precious country through a war. Our motto for a happy marriage was Always talk things through, keep smiling and love each other.

He died much too soon.

A couple of years later I met my second Veteran. We met, fell in love, and here we are, my sailor and me.

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We met at a Recycling Single Men party in New Jersey and were drawn to each other right away. The widow and the widower!FH CVR 3D

Love, it can happen to you!

Thanks for your service, Veterans. Love from Charmaine Gordon

A newlywed’s first Halloween-1952 Bossier City, Louisiana

Unaware of anything but but each other, the Korean War, and Barksdale Air Force Base, Bud came home riding his Corgi mortorbike- the smallest cycle you ever saw.

“Did you buy candy?”

“No. Why?”

“It’s Halloween and our little neighborhood is filled with kids who will come looking for treats.”

“UH, what’ll we do? It’s too late to go shopping.” The bell rang. Young voices cried out, “Trick or treat-trick or treat. Give us something good to eat.”

Apples, I remembered the big bag of apples we had. So we put an apple in each pumpkin. and the kids ran off laughing. I knew we’d run out of them soon. Not the kids-the apples. And we did.

My pilot husband said, “How about bread? Do we have a loaf of Wonder Bread?”

“Sure but what. . .”

“Quick. Give me a slice and a small paper bag. When I turn off the outside light, I’ll rattle my hand in the bag. The kids will think something wonderful is coming up and in the dark, I’ll drop a slice of bread.”

What can I say about that wonderful night of laughter. Convulsed, holding our sides together, finally the doorbell stopped ringing. Bud and I had another night to remember. Just one of so many in all the wonderful years together.

Are you listening up there, wherever you are, sweetheart? Oh yes you are.

46235_4036441625825_953707763_n   Charmaine Headshot for Author Central                                                                                                  

FREE 4 Chapter Preview Download

Farewell,Hello

    Once you’ve read the beginning, you’ll want to read this long/short story of love lost then found.                                 Concept CVR FH 1-1