How often we do that – – when we are alone and memories are freshened and watered by our minds.  Oh!  How grateful I am that I still have my mind. (Don’t say it!). I know. At times it seems that I have lost mine, but not really.

August 28, 1978. A day when the cords of sentiment were stressed to their limits by our moving to Tempe, AZ.  I remember that day.  A little after 1pm we were driving in to Apache Junction.  For those of you who do not know the area here.  Phoenix is a large metropolis and east of it is Tempe, and east of Tempe is Mesa, and east of Mesa is Apache Junction.  I  remember Loren pulling over to one side of the road.  I asked what was wrong. He said, “Nothing, I just want us to pray and thank the Lord for bringing us this far and for the rest of our lives together here.”

Yes.  That was forty years ago.  It boggles the mind!  Loren and I had 30 years together in retirement.  THIRTY YEARS!!!!  And then……….I have had ten years by myself. And I do thank Him for my life here – the friends through the years and those who remain, though they are getting to be few and far between but then the memory bank takes over, doesn’t it!!

I remember so well a couple in our church in Wpg. – she had retired first.  Then he retired from the banking world.  He and Loren were talking one day and he told Loren how he had always hated the banking world.  Loren then asked him what he would like to have done.  His reply was very quick.  He had ALWAYS wanted to be a Forest Ranger. Loren quickly replied, “Now you can do it.  There is nothing holding you back”.  He laughed and told Loren, “Oh no!  I am too old now.”  He ended up sitting in a rocking chair with nothing to do.  His wife returned to part-time teaching because she could not take it.  He eventually passed away – more from depression than any thing else.

For Loren and me – – we never had enough hours in our days.  NEVER!

Well – that was 30 years for us.  The past ten years have been a struggle for me.  A very long time to get myself settled down in a way that is proper for this old woman.  At 83, without the lover of my life I find there is no way to ever “fill” that place in the heart.  It will forever be open – – vacant – – empty – – because there was/is/never will be a person who could take Loren’s place.  He was one of a kind.  One of his golfing buddies told me, “when God made Loren, He threw away the pattern.”

I go into that vacant place in my heart ever so often and “dust” it off and a memory from here or from there will pop up.  I touch it with my mind, shut my eyes and it returns to its hidden spot in my heart.

“How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.”

Always………….. Marge H.

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