Today is hard for me, and I'm going to share it.
On March 22, 1975, when I was 22, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. It was the happiest day of my life because I was marrying the man of my dreams. And for years and years I knew this was true. When we had no money, and I mean, NO money, I had Ray. As years passed, and all that happens with a married couple, I was happy, and a big part of it was because of him.
We both went back to college and finished, finally it seemed, in 1978. By then we had two kids! We lived in rented apartments and houses, until in 1982 we bought our first home: a hundred-year-old farmhouse with cold rooms and sloping floors. We used an antique cook-stove fueled by wood to supplement the extremely expensive electric heaters. I had gardens and canned a lot of green beans, tomatoes, and corn. I scrimped at the grocery and bought clothes (when we had cash) at rummage sales. By 1986 we had FOUR kids (ALL TREASURES) - and even though we never had any extra money, I was happy.
Besides working full-time, Ray was always asked to sing. This was added income, and Ray never complained about working, although there were some times he wanted to "call in tired." I would work temporarily as a substitute teacher, but having little ones at home always kept me busy. As Ray wrote each new song on our battered, upright piano, he shared what he finished with me. So many times it would make me cry because they were so beautiful.
There was no change in Ray over the years as he became successful - we just got to eat out more, and that meant I had to cook LESS! I got pretty spoiled, but those were good years. Little did I know that all that would change. And I miss that life every day. I miss Ray every day.
Is this too personal? Probably. Is it real? yeah. It's honest and real. I'm leaving out so much, but I think you will get the idea.
So today is my anniversary of that day - and I'm sad. No question about it. I can't write it nicely. I can't say it well. I can only grieve that he is gay and no amount of hoping or praying or waiting will change that. I'm here alone - with kids grown and a big, empty house, lots of memories, and I can't stop wiping the tears from my face.