For Marge

At one time in the past, we used to subscribe to the local paper, the LV Review Journal.  The paper had a weekly column by Stephen Kalas. Marge saved one of his columns, which I found and used as the preface to each of my posts. He is a behavioral consultant and many of his columns concern marriage and similar relationship, and has written a book, as well as his weekly column.

I cancelled my subscription a year or so after Marge died since, for the most part, it was a waste of paper which  quickly found its way into the recycle bin.  Once in a while though, I find one left by mistake in my driveway. A week ago I found one there, but not my Wall Street Journal and I did not notice the difference until I sat down with some coffee to read it.  This was the day for Mr. Kalas’ column so I read that at least.  I think Marge would have enjoyed it, so I enclose at least the lead paragraph and follow-up lyrics from a song he quoted.  so, this one is for Marge.

“The lyrics of singer-songwriter Emily Saliers are, to me, often genius.  But not so much as the words to her song “Loves Recovery”:

“During the time of which I speak

It was hard to turn the other cheek

To the blows of insecurity

Feeding the cancer of my intellect

The blood of  love soon neglected

Lay dying in the strength of its impurity

Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together

‘They’ve all gone and left each other in search of  fairer weather

And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast

To the slim chance of love’s recovery

But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal

As specs of dust we’re universal

To let this love survive would be the greatest gift we could give

Tell all the friends who think the’re so together

That these are ghosts and mirages, these thoughts of fairer weather

Though its storming out I feel safe

Within the arms of love’s discovery”

I did not know either the song or the artist.  I express the theme of this site as being together and the song expresses the difficulty it takes to make togetherness not merely a word, but a reality.  

What happened to love after “I do”? Were we really in love or was our experience simply an immature sensation that could not stand up to the force of reality?  We did seek for fairer weather when the storms and struggles of our life together raged about us. That came all too soon and our personal past lives were not of much utility in coping with our life together.

It has been almost 3 years since Marge died.  I am left with physical artifacts, some letters, pictures, personal notes and reflections, and of course, my memories.  This collection is what I have to work with. Of course they are incomplete and cover many decades.    

I started this site with the idea of chronologically restating the past about as it happened.  I have taken a flashback to posting some additional detail about our life together as students.I think it is time for me to keep these posts going in the general direction of following the passage of time in our lives. I realizing that I may not be correct but Marge can certainly not amend what I write.

 What I can do, is to accept that, particularly when things did not go too well with us, try to make these posts as balanced as I can.   Good, bad and merely so-so, our life was a 50-50 relationship.  I will make more of a conscious effort in conveying that, first to myself and then to whoever reads these posts as well.

Yes, at times we both sought fairer weather.  I live in NV with fair, if not very hot weather.  We welcome the occasional rain, and especially the snow when it comes about once in 5 years.  I would not want 12 months of July.

 Sure, we had cracks in our relationship and repaired them best we could.  The result, from the outside, I am sure appeared irregular and amateurish.  But in the end, it lasted a lifetime, not as poetic an expression as the song Mr. Karas quoted, though I think, says much the same.

I almost decided to quit these posts as I had and do have, more than a little difficulty in  both understanding and writing of our mature life.  I will never get it 100% correct, and the result will be irregular and amateurish as well.  But no. I’ll do what I can with what I have, so please don’t go away, and bear with me.   



About R. F.

I am a retired Professional Engineer who spent my working life in the electric utility industry. I am now a volunteer instructor at the University Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
This entry was posted in Relationships and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to For Marge

  1. Allan T says:

    Hello Robert, first of all… I do hope Ingrid is safe and no way close to any of the harmful effects of the two fires in NOCAL. OK, you of course know that your marriage is just like another one I know, and suspect, like most of them out there. I for one would welcome a continuation of your story. As, I do believe it will dovetail OUR story.
    Al & Janice

    • R.J.F. says:

      Hi Allan, thanks for your concern. As to Ingrid, she is OK, I guess Sacramento had smoke from the fires further up but that’s all. I am sure our marriage was in no way unique except in the personal details. I guess that maybe I am having trouble accepting my part and not subconsciously blaming Marge. Maybe I really don’t know what my part was in some instances and it is helpful for you, and my friend Jo Ann (comment above) to keep me going at this. Greetings to Janice from me.

  2. Jo Ann Hays says:

    I like this posting. I think for me the appeal is that you are vulnerable in sharing your challenges, which deal with writing this and with living in marriage. Keep on going!

    • R.J.F. says:

      Thanks Jo, I appreciate your comment and value your friendship. I have a form of writer’s block and have to look inside myself to see what might be at the root of this. Maybe in one way, I don’t want to do the hard work of confronting my own part in our life. So, a boost is helpful, kind of a spur jab in my flank to quit grazing and get on with the journey.

  3. Louise says:

    Well you know what they say about writing — if it were easy, everyone would do it!

    • R.J.F. says:

      Is it easier or more difficult to write about yourself, or as with Marge, someone whose life you shared but is now dead? I am trying to be as factual as I can without sub-consciously being one sided. I don’t write intricate sentences with complex phrases. Sometimes not a real sentence at all, just a few, even 2 words, but that’s the way I was thinking at the moment and I think it works at times. I try to have some sort of story arc in each post. I know I have few readers, sometimes I do get hits from afar but not many. If you have time to become current you will note that I am trying a different approach for a while. This is not timeless prose but the exercise is time consuming, though worth it I think.

      • Louise says:

        I think both kinds of writing are challenging in different ways. And as far as hewing strictly to a chronological narrative goes, most memoirs do not actually do this 100%. They usually loop back and forth in time while still progressing in an overall path from the past forward. I think this makes for more interesting reading, so do whatever feels right for you! It’s all an experiment anyway, right?

      • R.J.F. says:

        Right, mostly for me and better understanding the past.

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