Friday, May 16, 2008
“Don’t you know a guy named Mark? Weren’t you and Steve friends with him and his wife?”
We were. I met Victoria, his wife at a radio station where we both worked. I had been promoted to full-time afternoon drive newsperson-she was hired to take my part-time Saturday slot. She was a full-time teacher-I had been a teacher. We had both just become engaged. Victoria to Mark, me (of course) to Steve. We started double dating, discussing our broadcasting careers and planning of our weddings.
Our marriages were 6 weeks apart. We would spend at least one of the weekend evenings at each others homes. We decided to have kids. They passed. When Sarah was born-we saw less of them. Once a month. It was too hard to pack up all the baby stuff and come back in a decent amount of time and then have Steve go to work the next morning. Let alone get up and take care of someone who thought getting up at 6 was sleeping in.
When my pregnancy with Adam put me on bed rest-we saw even less of them. It became apparent that they weren’t “kid” people, despite being school teachers. While I am a real “foodie” and loved to cook-it became a might difficult to do so more than once every couple of months. And it was easier to have them over than to put my parents out to baby-sit or drag over all the needed stuff to them.
Besides, as I mentioned, they weren’t particularly happy with our choice to become parents.
Then came our 8th anniversaries-Mark decided we should all make plans to spend a week at a Sandal’s couples resort. Sounded wonderful-except we didn’t have that kind of money and we thought that good floors for the house we had just moved into were more important.
They resented our “attitude” and the fact that I didn’t want to always play hostess. I had mentioned that since the kids were older that maybe we could trade off now and then. So the “friendship” ended.
Back to the early morning call from my sister Felicia. She called to read me his obituary!
Yes, Mark Workman-age 54 died. He left his wife of 27 years Victoria, his mom and a brother. His father and one brother had preceded him in death.
No cause of death was given. But since the article mentioned he was supposed to take a group of students on a “travel class” to Australia, I’m supposing his demise was NOT expected.
I was surprised at hearing the news. After all, he’s but 4 years older than me.
Did I feel sad? No.
What did I feel? I can explain it in terms of a song from my favorite musical “A Chorus Line”-The character Diana Morales went to the high school of performing arts and had an awful acting teacher. The guy told her she’d never become an actress, never. But she did. The character wasn’t a part time actress or waiting tables. She was doing well.
Then she hears that the teacher had died. He had always berated her for not “showing how the character felt”. So when she hears the news-she relates that for once he was right-“I felt nothing”.
I suppose since we hadn’t seen them in 19 years-feeling nothing is normal.
I'm wondering something here. Call me a curious George or a nosy blogger, but did you think about calling this guy by something other than his real name in your blog? Maybe I'm just too paranoid--I've never posted real first and last names on-line--but when I Google this guy's name, your blog comes up first.
And I know you used his real name because I found his obit myself. So I'm thinking what if somebody who knew him, a student or something, Googled his name and pulled up your blog. If they didn't like what you had to say, who could say what they'd do.
Like I said, maybe I'm too paranoid. But I've been Google-bombed, people have tried to track down my "real identity" back when I used to post more casually to on-line forums, people tried to track my IP address and the like, etc.
So my paranoia isn't TOTALLY misplaced.
I may be reading into his marriage, but was it possible that he and Victoria could not have children? This is off your topic a bit, but I know a woman your age who just lost her husband. She was raped at the age of 3. Her life (what would have been) was drastically changed because of it. When she married, children could not be conceived because she was permanently damaged because of it. Her husband was good to always come to her defense. He would say that they would rather not have children (when people asked, "When are you two going to have kids?" He tried to divert the conversation so she wouldn't have to re-live her past each time the question was posed.
Sometimes we just don't have the whole picture, because it is not always presented. Perhaps you didn't have the whole picture?
Not feeling anything, is not wrong. All though, I would like to ask, do you feel bad for Victoria? We cannot change the fact that someone has died, but my heart would go out to those left behind. I imagine she would be quite touched if you could acknowledge her loss and express appreciation for his life in general. Even if the card or letter comes late (after the memorial service), it's still valued, as mourning has not ended for her husband, and may not for months and years.. If it happened to you. Would you not be warmed by someones condolences who you thought was resentful at one time?
Sometimes our own feelings stop us from reaching out to others. If we lived life by past feelings or lack of feelings...we could be shutting off what could truly be a blessing to those in their time of need.
Anyway, this is something to think about. It spoke to my own heart (can't cha' tell?).
They could "have" children, preferred not to-that's why when they adopted a little girl-she was of school age. They never liked the diapers, bottles, schedules, etc.
I'm sure our differences were something that would have changed our friendship-no matter what.
someone else said I should send a card-which I might have done except for 2 things:
when I almost lost my husband, not even a call was made to us to see how he was doing. And we know that they heard about his condition.
And when we thought our son had cancer-again, not a call was made.