WSN: Guest Golumn by Terry Rempel
The other Sunday at church, a friend gave me an envelope with their Christmas picture card and synopsis of this past year for their family. She told me, tearfully, how hard it was to just write my name on the envelope, instead of Terry & Lorna, it was just Terry Rempel. Reminded me of what I thought about shortly after Lorna passed away in April. I’ve lost my “and.”
Words paint pictures; they reveal stories. You can have boring photos and boring stories, but you add certain words, and the stories get more life, more impact. “AND” is a term that makes you think there is more coming, more to this story. If the teller of a story says “AND” and empathizes it, the listener leans forward to hear what’s coming next, or, like Paul Harvey used to say, “The rest of the story.”
When we’re little kids, we were part of the “and” for our family. For me, it was Henry & Anne AND family. I was an and with Henry, Anne, and my sister Debbie. Sometimes, we are part of the comma; sometimes, we are an and. We get a bit older, and we get our own mail with our own name on it. There is no and at that time, but we are pleased to get the recognition we are growing up. The invite to a relative’s wedding is another good example. Then we get a bit older, and it moves to Terry AND escort! WOW! We are so grown up; we get to have an AND to bring along! It didn’t take too long to become Terry AND Lorna, and I loved it. There was more to my story than just me. I loved to get invitations for us! We were a couple. I was grown up. The AND was someone who loved me, wanted to be part of my life as much as I wanted to be part of hers. She was my AND, and I was her AND. We got to send out invitations to the wedding of Lorna AND Terry. There was much more to our story—even napkins with Lorna and Terry on them.
Then our story grew with the addition of “And Family.” The family grew up, moved on to have their own “AND.” They would always be a part of our AND, but they were starting their own as well. Then it was back down to Lorna AND Terry. For forty years. I lost my, AND on April 5, 2018, at 5:12 am. Many of the sympathy cards I received were addressed to Terry Rempel AND family. The AND that had been with me for forty years was now gone. That part of our story ended as far as everyone else was concerned.
It’s been eight months now, 36 weeks, that I have been missing my AND Lorna. In the mail, in conversations, in life. I look at pictures of her smiling back at me; I have many, always on my computer and cell phone. When I get those envelopes with just my name on them, it just doesn’t seem right. And I get to the place I live, walk in the door, and it’s just…..empty. I sometimes still call out, “Hi Babe,” hoping to hear her voice, but knowing it won’t come in this lifetime. I still call it “home,” but it hasn’t felt like home in a long time…..8 months to be exact. It’s a place I exist and some days barely.
My AND is gone.
Terry Rempel can be contacted using MESSENGER.