Monday, October 19, 2009

MY LOVE STORY

On October 13, 1955 when I was in my last semester at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia I had a blind date with a radio announcer named Mark Olds. By the second date I knew I wanted to marry him. Four weeks later he proposed and I barely let him get the words out of his mouth. We were married a month later, December 18, 1955. I learned that his family called him David, his first name, which he didn’t use in the wider world because he hated to be called “Dave.” I called him David – the rest of the world knew him as Mark. (When our eldest daughter first went to kindergarten, she came home and asked me, “What’s Daddy’s name?”)

On Saturday, October 3, 2009 David and I attended the Bat Mitzvah of the granddaughter of a close friend. We danced the hora, and then a little later were the only couple on the floor dancing to a Frank Sinatra medley. He was a terrific dancer, much in demand as a dance partner. After we drove home in a heavy rainstorm, David took off his dress clothes, put on his high rubber boots and slicker, and cleared leaves that had been clogging the drain in our driveway. The next morning we took a little time for some pillow talk before he went out for bagels. When he didn’t come home in a reasonable time I went looking for him and found him in our car in the parking lot of the bagel store, seemingly asleep. The bagels were in the back seat.

When I couldn’t rouse him I called 911, and our local Port Washington police and rescue squad quickly came and took him by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital, where the doctors told me he had suffered a stroke. He received excellent and timely care, but he never regained consciousness, never felt any pain or discomfort, and died in the Palliative Care division of North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York on October 8. I had slept in his hospital room the previous two nights, and so I was there when he left us. He was 88 years old, and we had often talked about the day when one of us would go first. We had promised each other we would not use heroic measures to sustain life when a meaningful life was no longer possible, and I fulfilled that promise when he needed me to.

David and I had been together for just a few days shy of 54 years. He was a wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was my best friend, my rock, my staunch supporter. I know that our daughters, our grandchildren, our close friends, and I will get through this terribly sad time although we will never get over his loss. We’re all grateful that we had him as long as we did.

Obituary notices were published in Newsday and the Port Washington (NY) News.

10 comments:

Susan said...

Sally,
I am so sorry to hear your sad news. Your husband sounds like someone who will be greatly missed, and not just by his family. Your "love story" was a wonderful gift to your readers. Please keep in touch with your cyber friends. I'll be thinking of you.
Susan

Kim Mitchell said...

Very sad for you. I hope your family and memories will be a comfort to you as you grieve. So sorry for your loss.

Kim

Donne said...

Sally, thank you for sharing your love story. I was deeply touched. You are blessed to have recognized your handsome prince so quickly and shared 54 wonderful years together. What is even more of a blessing is how you and David spent your last day together – doing all the things that brought you joy – family celebrations and rituals you shared. Your children and grandchildren are another blessing and they will bring you comfort in these coming days.
I am SO sorry for your loss. You have told your love story so poignantly that I wish I could come over and give you a hug. Please know that you are in my thoughts and I am sending you comfort and healing prayers. Keep writing – it’s a gift to all of us.
Donne

Nina Lewis said...

As soon as I logged on to your site tonight and saw the picture of your husband, I just knew what I would be reading. Tears were rolling down my checks by the end of your post.

I wish I lived close to you that I could drop in, hug you, cry a bit with you.

Tender moments like these tear at our hearts. I extend my deepest sympathies to you.

Nina

Sally Wendkos Olds said...

Susan, Kim, Donne, and Nina: Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate your thinking of me. Sally

Connie said...

Thinking of you Sally. I know you are a strong lady and your friends and family will sustain you through this loss. Take care. Love Connie

Joan Price said...

Thank you for sharing this. Like your other friends and even casual readers, I was moved to tears reading this.

Joan

Edna said...

Sally, I have been behind in reading the blogs and I just found this sad news. I am so sorry for your loss. He looks like a wonderful man, as I am sure he was after reading your sweet Love Story. Your last day spent together sounds sweet and romantic ... a very good memory. Again, I am so sorry.

Teresa at Nanahood said...

Blessings to you. My heart ached just reading your story, and yet what a love story! Hope you have family and lots of good memories to comfort you.

kamagra said...

It truly is a joy to look through and to read the beautiful stories. This is the reason why I love to read your blog!