My   Rosemary,   Wife,   Mother,   Dancer

My Rosemary was a dancer, a darn good one. She studied in Houston as a child and under some great teachers of ballet, tap and jazz. It was a talent that never escaped her ever. From the day in 1966 when I dated her to the date she died, she exercised, did kicks, and could do the splits. She taught dance in daycare centers, on her own independent business, to college classes, to women and to children. She taught dance to beauty queen contestants and taught all forms. She excelled in Ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, bellydancing. She and I started GOODY GUMDROPS Singing Telegram Inc. in the 70's and she performed the routines before local celebrities and even the Broadway cast of "EVITA." She did belly dances in saloons, bowling alleys, even a ITU unit in a local hospital after permission was given. She performed Praise Dance in local churches, for the bicentennial salute to America and to hundreds at the theater in the round to a "Precious Moments" concert. She loved the dance and I never saw one she couldn't do.

Her crowning achievement and proudest moment in dance came in 1995 when she received a call from the casting director for a miniseries being filmed by Sally Field in Galveston called "A Woman of Independent Means" for NBC broadcast. She was thrilled at the prospect! She went, of course, and was put through the entire Hollywood schtick, with wigs, makeup, pretty dresses and a massive buffet. Her scene was as a extra in a scene on a oceanliner with Sally Field. The dancers were to circle around the floor while Ms. Field and her partner talked on the dance floor. Something Happened! Ms. Field's partner didn't allow the circling to rotate and Rosemary was in the entire scene because of it. The director was upset but, as they spent a whole day filming, let it go. When the miniseries came out the next year on TV, it was nominated for many EMMYS! Rosemary's scene was intact!

Rosemary was a mother to 3 daughters: Kristina born in 1971, Dena in 1974 and Dawn in 1980. She nursed all of the girls until the girls gave up. She believed in the natural form of childbirth and had all the children that way. I assisted at two of the births, by taking pictures or video. One doctor who knew that I had experience in childbirth joked to me before one birth to take over. I told him to go out and earn his $$$! She loved her girls teaching them to read, teaching them dance, performing with them at conventions and church and family celebrations! She tried to teach them right from wrong and about boys when they asked. She carried them to the doctor, nursed their wounds and loved them as a mother.

Unfortunately, as the alcohol addiction developed, her distance from the girls increased so that at the end, she was estranged from them and a shell of her former self. We lost her love for a year when she had 5 DWI's and had to leave us. Rosemary loved the church and loved to sing. She would sing many times with her daughters and loved the music from which came from her roots. I will admit to numerous events in the lives of our children when she was less than a mother to them because of the disease. I will not list or elaborate further, except to say that, as time went on, I wrote a list of resentments of behavior and instances and kept it secret on a computer. The day after she died, I went to the file and deleted it, never to see it again. It was over, the music of the night. It was time to forgive and forget. That was my beginning.

What can I say; how do I put into words what I felt and feel about my wife? I once wrote her a piece called "My Little Flower". A flower was once a seed and grew into a fine flower, it bloomed and bees drank from the nectar of the little flower. The flower was very happy and loved the whole world. But then came the winter and the leaves wilted and the stems gave way. The birds pecked at the little flower and carried away the seeds. They dropped the seeds and the process began again. The little flower took seed and bloomed. But an evil force of Mother Nature, the winds, toppled the little flower and before it was ready, it died, not to come back in our lifetime.

Such was the nature of the disease, it was cruel, and lasted for nearly 20 years of our lives. Many times we sought help and many times that help was rejected in favor of the addiction. Our lovelife suffered towards the end and, like the little bloom, had lost its seed. Rosemary had many troubles in her life and the addiction was one of them. There were other factors that I never could help. I don't know what God's plan was for her, but I choose to remember the good time and the joy of what was my Rosemary.

Rosemary died by the actions of a unknown hit-and-run driver on the night and morning of September 22, 1996, on the streets of Houston. She was going over to a park across from where we lived early on a Sunday morning. She had been drinking heavily as was the case every night for years. She had a blood alcohol level of 2.5 and, from reports, passed out in a street, busy even at that time.

A driver who saw her in the streets called out to her and she raised her head. The driver proceeded on to a convenience store a half-block away to call 911. Since it was late at night and an unsavory man was using the outdoor phone, she opted to go to her home a few blocks away and call. She did but when the police and the paramedics got there, she was gone. I was asleep and got a call from a neighbor to get out fast, saying, "Something happened to Rosemary." I knew. I knew then as soon as I got the call. It was over...the Lord had called her home. The pain was gone, the diseased body was gone. The Lord said, "That's enough, come to my arms!" The music of the night was stilled. I was alone. I always loved her and remembered what I choose to remember. I forgive her and I am at peace.