The places we went, the love we shared, the friends we made, the children we raised …
Our favorite things to do together were traveling and throwing parties. I always suspected that both were just excuses for a new wardrobe, but as beautiful as she was who could possibly say no?
We would travel by car usually. I liked to drive and she liked to sleep. Once in a while she would wake up long enough to see something along the way. When we returned, Beth would take those visual memories and turn them into incredible works of art. One was Maui jungle, where she managed to distill a week of driving around the island onto a 2″ x 3″ piece of zinc. That image won major awards and the edition of prints sold out.
When I was forced to retire due to my disability, I took up painting as well and we enjoyed our trips even more. We would come home to our studio and commit memories to paint and paper. This was a very happy time. But then I became even more disabled to the point where we could no longer be away from home at night. Beth began losing her eyesight and was diagnosed with her own physically disabling disease.
For a while, we continued to paint, drawing upon the memories of previous journeys. But for the past 2 years, painting simply stopped. Beth couldn’t see well enough and I couldn’t move my hands well enough and the focus of our lives turned to helping each other get by.
And now Beth is gone. But she is still helping me get by. Because she has left me with a lifetime of beautiful memories.
Her loss gives me great pain, but it is a small price to pay for the richness that she has left behind. Beth, I will always love you and I will forever thank you, for having been my wife.