Sheila’s Story – Love and Regrets
Mission: Living a Life and Loving Your Partner with No Regrets
Leaving a Legacy of Powerful Memories
During the last 10 years of our beautiful 47-year marriage, my beloved husband Sam was afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease. These 10 years our lives were not lived to their fullest because I spent most of them in denial, thus missed out on pieces that I wish I had now.
Although we dealt with the disease, both of us being involved with his doctors, therapists and the APDA, American Parkinson’s Disease Association, support groups, I never really faced the high likelihood that one day he would no longer be with me. Thus there were things we never discussed. He passed away in November 2007.
Many unanswered questions still exist simply because I never asked them.
Most immediately, after his passing, I wished I had the scent of him. Smell is one of our strongest senses, yet I had not paid attention to this in relation to him.
Although we had plenty of photographs, where is his voice?
What were the special moments in our life together that he most treasured?
His ability to communicate easily was hampered by the Parkinson’s. To strengthen his muscles, I was counseled by a former Speech Therapist friend to go through photo albums with him and have him talk about the pictures. How rich this would have been, then and now! I ignored the advice.
I look through photographs from his Army years. Who were these people? What were his experiences?
What would he have liked for me?
What I DO Have –
I’m blessed that I have so much of him in his writing to me over the years, the photographs he took and the memories of his unconditional love.
From Sam –
5/28/60 – Written the night we became engaged, after he left me –
“To My Sheila” on the outside of a note card –
“My Love in Thy Heart
As midnight chimes a thousand clocks,
My mind and body in restful sleep,
The love spirit in my heart unlocks,
And steals away for a tryst to keep.
It climbs aloft to soaring heights
Driven by a power so compelling,
Until at last within its sights,
Appears the sweet image of thy dwelling.
Down a moonbeam thru thy window,
Searching for an image so dear,
It lands upon thy sweet pillow,
And stealthily slips into they lovely ear.
To seek its most precious home,
Inside the heart of its love,
Never more destined to roam
The lonely dark skies above.”
Sam’s love remained so strong throughout our 47 years that I feel compelled to pass it on to you, to support you in having nothing left unsaid, to spare you that pain and to help you in building an “acknowledgment treasure” unique to the two of you.
It may well be that you do not even have that. It is therefore my commitment that no unspoken communication resists, that you have no regrets should your partner pass before you AND that you build an “acknowledgment treasure” of your life together.
A Piece of My Legacy of Love for Sam –
(Written on the 3rd month anniversary of our first date)
To My Lover, My Life, My Husband
Giver of My Life
Bearer of My Life
One is for the sun
My life has begun
Two for the sky so blue
And for our love so true
Together they make three
Our anniversary —–
The start of my life
The birth of your wife.
The sun, the sky, the stars
Draw together, focus and beam
On our love.
Wondrous is that love
Mighty as the mountains
Calm and peaceful as the babbling brook
Strong and courageous as the current
bruising rocks, racing down the river
Soft and tender as the breeze caressing
buds in bloom.
Exciting as the crowds racing to a fire
Quiet as the sun dropping to its rest.
Thus is that love
In degrees it ranges from below
freezing to far beyond 212 degrees
In time it is a movement and
yet an eternity
So, Happy anniversary
I can go on forever
And yet say no more
For words are small
And the fullness of a love such as ours
can never be spelled out.
For three months and
Perspective From Another –
My belief in the importance of this business direction was affirmed in an email I received from Shayla Dougher when I announced the transition of my coaching practice to “Love With No Regrets.” She wrote,
“This is an excellent idea for a business!
I too am a widow. My husband of 20 years died suddenly of a heart attack at age 46 in 2005. Our kids are now 19 and 17. I had a beautiful time with him, but at the beginning of our marriage we did fight a lot. Then, I am not sure how it happened, we figured out that acknowledgment was all either of us were looking for in our relationship. We stopped arguing and by the end, it was like Valentine’s Day every night.
So many times, Sheila, when I have told the story that my husband died with absolutely no warning, women and men, have popped tears saying, ‘If something were to happen, ____ wouldn’t know how I really feel!’ ‘Or, ____ and I haven’t really talked in weeks.'” Yes! People have said this to me over and over!
You are so on the right track Sheila! Many people need this line of coaching!!”