On Saturday January 23, 2021 Norma, my loving wife for sixty years died after seven years suffering from Dementia. Unfortunately this was the beginning of the end of true happiness for my family. All of our children were grown and we had resided over 200 miles away from all in our families for the last thirty years. For 25 of my last 30 years were the happiest of my 90 years on God’s Earth.
Norma was a beautiful person both inside and out. For me she was the perfect mate and with her love and support she helped me achieve success beyond my wildest dreams. We had four children in four years and four months and coupled with my work life we molded them into outstanding Americans. Three of our seven grandchildren are married and have so far produced five great grandchildren.
Norma was my second wife and my three older children coupled with the others have now grown to sixty with the recent birth of another great Grandson this year. My oldest will be seventy three this month. From this group there are six doctors, four lawyers, a CPA, a business owner , aerospace manager, a petroleum engineer and six teachers. I love them all and I have been retired for nearly thirty years and this is my home.
I thought about possibly traveling some more but I have flown over four million miles in my lifetime. I have visited thirty two countries and worked in twenty three. I have worked or visited forty nine States with Alaska being the only one I have missed. With my daughter, Leah, we have discussed a trip to Alaska along with my friends, John and Patsy Sommers who live in Baton Rouge. The trip sounds like fun but with the Neuropathy in my feet and ankles and the long flights and connections sound like suffering.
I am sure that a cruise would be the perfect vacation but my driving is limited to short trips here in East Texas. With family living in Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Arlington, Euless, Austin, San Antonio they help me find rides without torture. Another plus is having the Port lm Galveston. Except for one GrandDaughter, who lives in Los Angeles, the rest of the family live in one of the Texas locations listed.
I live in a Lake front Home I designed with six sleeping sites that will accommodate twenty one adults. I have three baths, four hot water heaters, three central AC’s, three window type ACs. All of the AC’s have heat. I have a small fishing pier and over 3000 sq feet of wooden decks. I have covered parking for four full size vehicles. Here in deep East Texas we have 60” of rain, three months of possible winter, two months of spring, four months of “HOT” and three months of rainy weather.
So far I try to play par three golf on a local course with about a dozen fabulous friends three times a week. Being the oldest, my friends take care of me when I get fatigued most of the time.
Norma missed playing Bingo after she could no longer remember the numbers. Until a week before she died we had dinner at Hemphill BBQ every Thursday evening. Billy, Bobbie, Tiffany, Tim, Ann, Cotton, Chance , Dr. Peter Forrest, Norma and myself are always welcomed with a prayer by Larry Weaver. Before she died I had published over 1300 articles on WordPress and this article was posted since then.
I have tried many times to write more but I just can’t get motivated. For many years I walked two miles five days a week. Now I can’t walk 100 yards without rest. One promise I did keep was to care for Norma as long as I was capable. With help from family and Hospice I was able to care for her in our home until she died. Now I depend on Tim, Tiffany, Chance and Chelsy to keep me at home instead of a nursing home.
I wanted to close with another thank you for Norma’s dog, Sobrina. My baby daughter Leah assisted me about five years ago in locating who we call “Brina” in an animal shelter. She is a miniature Poodle that had been abused. She and Norma became inseparable and now she is my shadow as we grow older. We had family pets most of my life but none who had captured my heart like she has. She is blind in one eye, overweight and glued to me to care for her. I am now nearly blind in one eye, overweight and I must have care to help me. Brina is my shadow but she fails short in a few more areas. She can’t cook, drive, clean the house or talk. If she could talk I am sure I would be happier.
Living alone results in a life of loneliness that happens when any spouse passes on. I never read about senior life alone but I suppose I could write a book to help others cope. As I think about it this could be adjusted to be chapter one should I get motivated to keep adding chapters?
My dreams created my Bucket List and I have completed every promise but one. “ Live to be 105 years old and be shot by a jealous husband”. Now, that would be scary.
Would anyone possibly desire to read a chapter Two?
Clyde Brewer May 2022
I want to read chapter two.
Jay,I hope all is OK. Tried to E mail you a few days agp?
Loved your story Mr. Clyde and would love to read more. I never knew Norma before her illness but I do know she had a beautiful smile and really clinged to you when y’all were out and about. I would have loved to have known her when she was at herself. Mr. Clyde,I appreciate your friendship these last few years and hope we have many more years.