His name was Rob. He was killed in a horrific car accident back in 1986. He was only 60. She still hasn’t recovered.
Sarah Marie met Rob when she was a fresh pretty thing with the world at her feet. At the time she wasn’t even interested in him, she was dating a fella who was teaching her to dance at the local dance halls they frequented. He was a really nice guy, and Sarah Marie thought that they might even marry one day, they had so much fun together. But then she met Rob.
Rob was a powerful man – tall, with a strong chin and wide shoulders. Once he set his sights on Sarah Marie, she was helplessly unable to resist his charms – or his broad shoulders. He was a strong man and Sarah Marie felt herself fall deeply and madly in love.
Over the years they raised three children, one son and a set of twin daughters. Sarah Marie proudly boasted of her kids accomplishments to anyone who was in earshot. Her daughters are successfully published authors, their most recent book just released this summer. The boy is an accomplished musician, playing with an orchestra out in California. He is truly his mother’s son, as Sarah herself can make the piano sing and still plays at locales near her home in Fairview Park.
Their marriage was the story we all want to tell, a typical one of raising a family and building a business together, working side-by-side to create the life they wanted to live. As much as they enjoyed living life together, they didn’t forget to pursue their independent interests. Skiing and tennis, piano and social clubs – they came together for some, nurtured their independence with others, only making the relationship richer in the end. These same things that helped to nurture their relationship helped to nurture her soul when she found herself so unexpectedly alone, far too early.
Sarah Marie lives loudly. Her clothes are bold, letting the world know she is still here, still standing. Still strong. She wore a pink dress, sparklie large rhinestones and a black cowgirl hat atop her puff of blond hair. Don’t be fooled by the lines on her face, or even the slight stoop to her shoulders. She can still whip your ass on the tennis courts, playing three times a week with “people younger than you, Missy. ” She downed her glass of vodka, on the rocks, please, while she banged out a tune or three on the baby grand piano in the corner of the bar.
When the singers took over, she grabbed my hand and pulled me onto the dance floor, all the while talking about how life’s too short to sit still. She showed me the moves she learned from that lover so many years ago, the one she thought she’d marry before Rob came along with his strong shoulders and powerful personality. We danced and twirled and clapped and I lived loud with her for a few hours that Saturday night.
But I heard the catch in her voice as she congratulated and applauded the couple who were there celebrating their sixty third wedding anniversary. She only had forty seven years with her Rob, that was all. Not nearly enough time; No, not nearly enough. Sarah Marie still goes to work at the compay she and Rob built, fortunate that she had the experience needed to keep things moving, including herself.
Twenty one years since he’s been gone. While she goes on living, she still wears his jacket to feel him next to her skin.