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Ship without a Rudder
Ship without a Rudder

I don't know how any man survives without a woman.

Ever since my wife and I divorced, I have been like a rudderless ship floating through the sea of life. The current has been swift at times but I have managed to stay with the flow.

A day ago I got the unexpected news that my sister-in-law Marie, Legs' wife, had passed away in her sleep. She was 85.

She was the rudder in my brother's life. They had an incredible relationship that lasted well over half a century. Marie was a Lawrenzi through and through who always put family first. Legs took good care of her all his working life and she always referred to him as her good husband.

Legs has been busy the past two days doing everything that must be done to make those final arrangements.

I would like to be there with my brother to share the load if I knew how I could help.

My brother and I are very close in many ways. Right now I think he needs his space and I am going to grant him that.

He and Marie maintained a well-kept house that was the envy of their neighborhood. Legs managed to transplant some cactus plants that he stole from the State of Arizona. He somehow persuaded those arid plants to grow in the rainy green fields of Western Pennsylvania.

When she was able, Marie was an excellent cook who kept Legs and his sons John and Jeffrey well filled as their ample girths could convince anyone. When her health failed, Legs took over the cooking duties without serious complaint.

He served his wife faithfully through thick and thin. Every so often, with Marie's permission, he would go to the Meadows Casino to play the slots. Sometimes he won, more often he lost.

I don't know if I will make it back to the funeral. I will try. I know Marie had a lot of friends and loved ones who will want to say their goodbyes to a sweet woman.

Legs has a garden that produces grapes, tomatoes, strawberries and other products. His grapes make the best wine in Pennsylvania. It's too bad Marie couldn't be around for the harvest.



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