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Thank you, sweet friends, for your care and concern after reading last night’s short post. I was feeling very overwhelmed and sad, and couldn’t even come up with an explanation. I am sorry that I caused several of you to lose sleep and worry…we were awake together. I’m still struggling with words, so bear with me.

I don’t think we ever entirely let go of our first love, no matter the distance or experiences that follow. That certainly was the case for me, and that was the cause of last night’s blue funk. To make a short story even shorter, I discovered Monday night that my first love had died, not recently, but several months ago. (My brother ran into his brother’s brother-in-law and heard the news with disbelief.) As I was wishing him a happy 65th birthday in November on my Facebook page and here on Trigger’s Horse (Happy Birthday ), he was already gone.

Kicking back with Jack at home, c. 1968.

Kicking back with Jack at home, c. 1968.

Sixty-four years old is way too young for a man to be stolen from his wife, children, and grandchildren by a heart attack. Especially one who had served honorably in combat during the Viet Nam War and come safely home after giving so much for his country. And it is too young for his first girlfriend to be the only one who remembers all the once-very-significant milestones and experiences.

But I am no longer saying, as I did on his birthday, “Jack Barker, wherever you are…” because now I know. He has joined his Mom and Dad in God’s tender care. And those of us here on earth will continue to grieve.

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