August 15 – A Fateful Phone Call

by Patricia Roop Hollinger

My husband’s health was in rapid decline. Death was imminent. His son and two grandchildren were in their third year of living with us when I had been told it was only to be a weekend.

One day, upon opening the daily paper I read the obituary of the wife of a high school flame. This was his second wife he had married after his first wife had died. As fate would have it they had moved within walking distance of where I was now living with my second husband and I had met her on one of my daily walks. One day I noted they no longer lived there and just wondered where they had moved.

“Dare I call him?” I wondered. The wondering became a phone call and I proposed that in the future we might have lunch together.

With that he said, “How about breakfast next Saturday.”

This was sooner than I had planned but could I pass it up? No, I simply could not pass this offer up. I told my husband that I would be having breakfast with this gentleman. That we had dated many years ago and this was just a friendly gesture in light of the recent death of his wife.

We had breakfast at the same restaurant where we had met years prior when I had been a carhop in the 1950s. We had a few dates but another high school flame of his became his first wife. A job offer took them to San Antonio, Texas where they lived until her death. He met his second wife, who had just died, when he had returned back to visit family in the area.

We quickly established that we still had an interest in each other however I clearly was committed to caring for my husband until his imminent death. My husband was soon under the care of hospice in our home.

An epic snowstorm was predicted. We lived on an 18 acre wood lot off the beaten path. I proposed that he be taken to Dove House for if death came during the snowstorm there would be no way to transport his body to the funeral home. Placing him in the home freezer was not an option I could even consider. Death came at Dove House and it took the funeral home 2 hours to pick up his body was just a mile away.

My high school flame and I continued to have more lunches and breakfasts after my husband’s death. We were married on October 30, 2010 at a pavilion that had been one of our dating sites so many years ago.
Patricia Roop HollingerPatricia Roop Hollinger is exploring her writing skills after retiring as a Pastoral Counselor, Chaplain and LCPC from same hospital where the prescribing doctor is medical director. She is an avid reader, musician, and lover of her cat Spunky.

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One response to “August 15 – A Fateful Phone Call

  1. Great story. I had a friend, before I met my husby, who re-discovered the love of his life at a high school reunion. They had several happy years together before she slipped away or should I say passed away. I was glad to be a companion for the last 2 or 3 years of his life. Oddly I am not sure which it was.

    Meeting and marrying my husby is a whole other story. I’m working on the memoir. Can a 62-year-old woman who has never been married find love with a 2-time widower seeking his third wife on … gulp … Craigslist?

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