45 Years is Nothing and Everything

There are days I feel as though I’m 80. Other days, I’m 19 again. Most days I’m Martha, 64, married, poor eyesight, always struggling with my weight, trying to do better. Writing books, telling stories.

Aquinas Hall Roof – photo via https://residence-life.providence.edu/residence-halls/

At this time of year, however, my mind is flooded with memories of sophomore year at Providence College. Of early snow and Christmas anticipation. And of a tragedy whose roots took hold 45 years ago. Yes, we’ve grown, thrived, loved, and laughed – because that’s what you do. Life is for the living, my mother used to say, even as she was transformed by widowhood at age 50.

I found this short passage and wanted to share it today. We remember. Katie, Debbie, Jackie, Barbara, Donna, Sallyann, Gretchen, Cathy, Laura, and Dottie.

As far as I can see, grief will never truly end. It may become softer over time, more gentle, and some days will feel sharp. But grief will last as long as love does – forever. It’s simply the way the absence of your loved one manifests in your heart. A deep longing, accompanied by the deepest love. Some days, the heavy fog may return, and the next day, it may recede, once again. It’s all an ebb and flow, a constant dance of sorrow and joy, pain and sweet love.
-Lexi Behrndt

Photo free from pixabay.com

11 thoughts on “45 Years is Nothing and Everything

  1. Dear Martha, this is so beautiful and inspiring, and makes me recall the story you wrote some time ago about that terrible day. Such days are never erased by time, like a wave they come in crashing on the rocks when you least expect it. I can’t even imagine losing your husband at 50. Or losing your Father at such an early age. No wonder you are such a strong and thoughtful person; your heart has known many hurts that have touched your heart to know how to reach out to others in their time of pain. Your words make us all stronger…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s hard to forget our loves ones from heart, even when they can’t be seen with the eyes, you still can feel them and picture their faces..


  2. Those tragedies remind me of how frail and unpredictable life is, Martha, as well as how fortunate I am to have reached 64! Despite all the trials and tribulations of life, there is much to be grateful for. You’re right that grief hangs on and transforms us, though we learn to encircle our memories with love and move forward. A beautiful post, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember that Sunday morning, too, as a newlywed in our little apartment hearing the horrendous news. It was surreal, and forty-five years later, still heartbreaking. Now, I think of you in sad connection with the awful day.

    Liked by 1 person

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