The Lifestyle Connection

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Dear John,
    In April, 2001, I happened to be at Mama’s and we had gone to visit with her sister-in-law and came back by the post office to get the mail, then circled around to Jane and John’s car lot. Jane was there talking to someone, so we just gave her the mail that was hers and left. By the time we got up to Mama’s which would have been about five minutes, the phone was ringing. One of Jane’s neighbors was calling me and saying something about John and a heart attack. Their house is so close all we had to do was look out the window to see that there was an ambulance there in the driveway. But what was really wrong? Was someone hurt? Had Jane been in a wreck?   We piled back into the car and I took Mama to my Aunt Metha’s and drove on over to Jane’s. Everything just blew up in my face. It was John and as much as we wanted to think that the EMT’s or the doctors at the hospital could revive him, bring him back to us, it was too late. The neighbor lady was right — massive heart attack. When she came home from the car lot, my sister had found her beloved husband of almost fifty years on the floor, dead. She was now a widow, a statistic.
   I suppose at a time like that everybody thinks of all the things they should or could have said or done. I never told John how much he meant to me. He had been a part of our family for so long sometimes I couldn’t remember us without him. He had welcomed me into his home on different occasions. “Tell Carol she can live with us while she’s working.” “You know you’re welcome to stay here with us and go to school.” Not only had he made a good home for Jane and their two boys, he welcomed others into it.
    Again, death is so final. You break up with someone or get a divorce, naturally it hurts one of you, but you know there’s a chance that you’ll bump into them sometime, somewhere. Or you can contact them by phone or letter. But death leaves no measure of hope. It’s final. I find myself wanting to shout it from the mountaintops, “Tell them now! Say it before it’s too late! Don’t wait!”
    Dear John, I did love you.