When hubby was towards the end of his Navy career, he attended a course taught by a former Naval pilot. It was a course that meant a lot to my hubby, as he was chosen to carry out the subject matter in the course into his command. He did it well.
When hubby retired from the Navy, he set out to find his next career. Before he went back to college, he was contacted by the retired Navy pilot. He had watched hubby’s career. He knew when he was retired. He offered hubby a place in his consulting business. He was thrilled that hubby was going to college and told him that they would work around his schedule, but, he definitely wanted him to work with his group. It was a wonderful venture. Hubby learned much from this man and a friendship grew. He was instrumental in introducing hubby to the company that he eventually worked for after graduation.
The pilot’s name was Gerry. We received a letter today from his wife. Gerry died in late November. We saw them before we moved, and in the past two years, we had lost contact with them. We knew something was wrong. This year I sent another Christmas card to them and a note expressing our love and concern for them.
The letter today was a short one and a very sad one. Since then, I have spent my time remembering Gerry and his wife. They were the most fascinating couple I have ever met. She is the epitome of graciousness. She is intelligent and fun to be with. They owned a sailboat and often in the summer we would get a call to go sailing. Gerry was older and so, hubby would take over the helm and guide the boat across the water in San Diego. We would have ‘snacks’ , a bottle of wine, crackers, cheese, fruit. We would laugh and catch up and talk about Navy life. Gerry’s wife would recite poetry from memory. Long poems, beautiful ones. We would be enthralled.
After sailing, we would head to their home and have dinner. Take out from a local restaurant. We would sit on their patio or in their home and we would continue the evening. The pace was always slow, the conversation quiet, and the laughter, well, it was the way laughter is supposed to be.
I know the next couple of days will be filled with memories of Gerry. He was one of the best! A fighter pilot in Viet Nam, a decorated officer, and a true gentleman. Our lives were enriched in knowing him. Hubby lost not only a mentor and friend, but also a father figure. Rest in peace my dear friend. I look forward to catching up in eternity. DAF