Where it began…or ended…

July 22, 2017.  I woke up to a beautiful Carolina day.  The sun was shining.  It was hot; famously hot as we say in South Carolina.  The lake in front of the house was as blue as the Carolina sky and was quiet and inviting.  I could not look forward to swimming this day since I had had a hip replaced just three weeks ago.  But the day started like all great Saturdays with chocolate chip pancakes and bacon with a side egg.  My husband of 52 years made sure I had all that I needed to start the day with a smile.  He was that way.  Always caring that everyone was given what they needed.

After breakfast I went back upstairs to my bedroom to rest.  Ray, my husband, went outside to do some weed-eating.  This was one of the chores that he enjoyed most.  I guess he just got lost in the mindless cutting and it was soothing for him.  I watched him from my bedroom windows.

After several hours of outside chores, Ray came inside to put on his bathing suit.  The heat was demanding that he take a swim in the lake.  He teased me about going to see the ladies in the bikinis on the lake.  Of course, the ladies were all of his grown daughters and granddaughters.  I told him to give me the binoculars so I could watch as they played in the water.  I said he should behave because I would be watching.

And watch I did.  Between reading a book and resting I would spy on the group of ten out in the water.  They had paddle boards, noodles and rafts and they would hook together and make a train or they would drift off in pairs to play.  It was obvious that they were having a great time.  I felt a little left out because I could not join them.  But it was fun watching.  Poppy was relaxing and playing.

About 2pm I noticed that most everyone had left their toys and were diving over next to one of our docks.  I assumed that someone had dropped a phone or keys in the lake and they were all diving for the lost item.  Then I saw my youngest daughter running to our other dock and jump in the ski boat and hustle over to where everyone was diving.  Something told me something was wrong.

I called her on her phone and she did not answer.  Just a few minutes later my phone rang.  It was my daughter calling me.  I answered and she said, “Mom, pray.  Pray hard.  I think we have lost Poppy”.



2 thoughts on “Where it began…or ended…

  1. Ruth McMonagle

    Sandra, I just read this and needed kleenex to get through it. The first few months are so difficult – I know, I’ve been there. I knew my husband was going to die as he had cancer and was given less than 2 months, so I thought I was prepared. I was not, despite knowing it was coming. It does get easier. Gary was just 58 when he died April 1, 2008 and not a day goes by that I do not miss him or think about telling him something I’ve heard. Time has a way of healing. I will never forget the 36 years I had with him. I wish I could have 36 more years with him, but I know there are many people in this world who have never loved or been loved so I think about that and that I was fortunate to have had him 36 years. God was good to me in helping me through these many years. God bless you.


  2. Nan Beeler

    Sandy.. this is such a poignant piece… so true to how true and beautiful you and Ray were together. I am so sorry he is gone. I think if you often, and remember him as a true gentleman in the best sense of that word. We have lost a great man. Peace and love to you.


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