Music: Stranger In Paadise
Performed by: The Four Aces
For whatever reason, this song haunted me then.

Page updated: : March 20, 2010

The status quo was not to remain in place.

How little did I know when this photo was snapped,
earlier in a life-changing day...

...laughing about our "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree!
I shared this apartment with Patty...

...a young woman from Colorado, who also worked at Sakowitz.
She was engaged to an Air Force Cadet from the base nearby.

(In fact, I made her wedding dress.)

They introduced me to a Cadet
who was to become my future husband.
On that December Sunday, we were still barely acquainted.

On the fateful night, Patty and I prepared for Monday's work,
when radio programming was interupted by an announcement
of a massively fatal accident which had just occurred near Dallas.

Suddenly the full names of people
were announced...
victims in a car hit by a fast-moving train.

My universe suspended in space....

My sister, her husband, their three children - and their maid
- coming home from a weekend jaunt to their country place.

I would have been along, instead of Irma
to help with the children that weekend,
had I remained in Dallas.
I'd been spared, but not without enormous emotional upheaval.

Patty made a call and
my future husband rushed to take care of details,
helping me get to where a plane awaited to take me to Dallas.

A beautiful family simply ceased to be.
Where there had been powerful,
almost irresistible influence
...nothing.

There was a gaping chasm in my life.

And so it was that,
my beautiful sister and her family perished.
At the same instant,
less than six months after my graduation,
my brave bright autonomy disappeared, as well.
The accident simply obscured it.
It was dimmed for many years to follow.

Postscript about Patty:
She's one of those unforgettable people!
We've stayed in touch over the years!

After the funeral, I returned to Houston, briefly.
But with the Christmas weddings finished,
I found myself with too little to do.
New vistas were needed.

Looking out and up again...
I spent some time with my parents
before enrolling in the University of Texas
in graduate school, to earn teaching certification.

But the cadet had re-entered the picture and
plans for an early fall marriage were taking shape.

During that semester, I wrote this:

A wisp of life
Brings forth a surge of living.
A silent gift
Inspires a life of giving.
A perfect gift
Compels eternity;
A life so lived
Dispels serenity,
A life so lived
As to give Life to Life,
And that,
Inherent.
___ nh written March, 1954

___nh

Perhaps I would do it all somewhat differently.

Alas - we are not provided hindsight for hind-sites!
We're provided THE NOW, bringing to it experience, truth, beauty...
and, hopefully, more wisdom...more love!

And so -- the story continues. . .

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