I thought this was worth a third look. It was part of the basis for my semi-autobiographical novelette, just published, The Bloom is on the Rose.
A few years after my brief, first marriage ended in divorce, I met my spouse of over 40 years in Baltimore. She was an art student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. It was the spring of 1977. I met her parents on our second date. I took her to dinner several times. She certainly grew on me steadily.
In the midst of that relationship I traveled alone to Washington, D.C. I looked up a distinguished, well-known attorney who I was told was a relative in Washington. He described to me the tragedy of having recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
He was only 60 years old. I was 32. He explained to me the difficulties with his ten-year old son as a result of his memory loss. It was a distressing conversation.
I told him how serious I was about Kristine, how special she was to me, how unique. I’ve told people since that women I dated frequently helped me to deteriorate while she helped me to grow.
I lost track of that tragic recipient of early Alzheimer’s afterwards. It was a juncture that at once addressed my new, permanent love as well as the disease in my family that would take this relative and both my parents.
The attorney died in April 1983 at 66. The Washington Post obituary simply said he had Alzheimer’s when he died. As to the joys and burdens of those minutes when we met, my aired feelings for Kristine and empathy for him that day, were lasting jolts in my life for the better and for the worse.
My relationship with Kristine continued to grow. She and I were engaged in August.
One of my maternal aunts met Kristine prior to my parents. She was the oldest of the three sisters in my mother’s family. She came up from Florida to Washington, D. C. to give Kristine a lovely family ring. My folks didn’t meet Kristine until just before our December wedding.
My aunt met us for dinner at an excellent Hungarian restaurant called Csikos. A csiko is a Hungarian, mounted herdsman. The restaurant reached back in time to my maternal grandparents who hailed from Hungary. They immigrated to America in the late 19th Century.
Reaching forward to 2028, when hopefully I will be alive and ticking, the New York Times posted an article about the 2028 Summer Olympics on 8/1/17. Mike McPhate wrote about the agreement to stage the games in L.A. Some Los Angeles reporters working for the Times were asked for a potential sport that L.A. could add to the Olympics. One suggestion caught my eye. “Food truck drag racing on Silver Lake Boulevard.”
Returning to the fall of 1977, I was eager to move to California, a dream of mine since I was a kid. That all materialized swiftly as I obtained a medical examiner’s post in Ventura, California. I was to begin in January of 1978. Kristine by the grace of God was graduating in December. Right up until the last day of 1977, when we arrived in Ventura, it was a year that teemed with blessings.
At our wedding one week before Christmas, Liz, one of my sister’s two children, saw Kris in her Greek wreath and beautiful dress as a heroine. She told her this only recently. Kristine has always been and will always be my heroine.
H, Robert Rubin, a best-selling, Amazon writer and author of Look Backward Angel, How Did I Get Through This? Please Save the Third Dance for Me (memoirs) and The Bloom is on the Rose (novelette), all available on Amazon.