Who was the Fred Jones that I knew so well and perhaps not well enough?
My first date, my first dance partner, the man who could fix anything, the man who introduced me to: swimming naked in the North River; to eating fried foods (clams with the stomachs); to necking in his old Chevy (to the delight of the local police when we had to confess to being Smith and Jones); to playing basketball out back with lots of friendly fouling; and to being an assistant mechanic - holding the lamp while he, with fingers red from those cold Boston nights tightened one last car engine bolt or adjusted the timing yet again.
Time went on we married, finished school, had Bill - the delight of our existence and moved away from our loving families and my beloved Boston. Never to return (except for visits) for Fred was wanted for a traffic violation by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which he refused to pay and would not negotiate a settlement!
Days were full of friends, family traveling back and forth from Boston to Baltimore, and two more products of conception (love): Beth and Joe. Life was grand and larger than expected by two Norwell High graduates. Fred progressed in his career, became expert at encouraging his team to exceed and was recognized for his efforts. The family took a risk/opportunity and moved on to Europe: Fred, kids cats, dog, and me. New friends, new places. Far from Boston and family.
Three years later we returned to the US and settled in Seattle. I started my long awaited career and Fred talked about starting his own business. We grew apart and the saddest day for me was when we decided to end a marriage that had been so much a part of who we were. I lost the father of my children, my constant companion for well over twenty -two years. When our exceptional children did something fantastic, cute, brilliant, funny whose eyes could I meet that would be as delighted as mine in their greatness? It was a very difficult time.
Fred did well and again succeeded in accomplishing his goals. Lately, I was happy to see him enjoying his grandchildren and taking up a new sport: golfing. Sorrow again. I can't believe he is gone. My standard of what makes a man/husband/partner/friend/dad has left for good.