Fifty-three years ago today I was wed for the first time. What does a young man know of life, its joys and vicissitudes? Not much, as it turns out; but if one is fortunate enough to live awhile, he will learn.
I learned that a beautiful young woman could give her life to her man and to her children. Two beautiful girls followed by two perfect little boys were borne to me by this woman. She devoted herself to their nurture and care.
I learned that life is not forever. When we might have had a chance to get to know each other without the cares of child-rearing, the oncologist answered her question, "How long do I have," with a curt, "Nine months." It was nine months almost to the day. We missed a twenty-fifth anniversary by three months less four days.
Frieda, gone now for over 28 years. I have been blessed with marriage to loving and caring women in my life since her passing, but she was my first.