Fifty-seven years ago, I married the love of my life, my Darlin’ Edna.
Over those years, she has become the wind beneath my wings, guiding me into accomplishing things I never thought possible.
We were both coming from failed marriages, and I was also sporting a bit of a reputation for being a trouble maker — at times.
Edna’s friends who were familiar with my wild ways tried to warn her to forget about any future with me, but our love for each other overcame any doubts that might have arisen. We got married and we now had four kids that came with the package.
At that time, I was working for the L. Suzio Concrete Company and she was working for Northeast Utilities. When I first met her I asked for her telephone number and she gave me a phony number, but after a few more casual meetings I did get her real phone number.
Believe it or not, I proposed to her on our first real date, a dinner at her apartment. Even more amazing is the fact that she accepted my proposal after several months.
Our marriage started us on an adventure that I never thought would be possible in my lifetime.
My brother Paul’s wife, Pat Roberts, once said, “Edna is the most giving person I have ever met.”
I have to agree with that.
In the beginning years of our marriage, Edna was involved with many things that benefited other people. They even made a video about her volunteer work at places like Gaylord.
She was also in charge of coordinating volunteers who ran the Winter Special Olympics. It seems that whatever Edna put her mind to, she would make it a success no matter what the event or the person — even me.
Edna received many awards during her working years and even got her degree in Business from St Joseph’s College and made the Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges. She also received numerous awards form the Meriden Chamber of Commerce.
Her awards included the Circle of Honor for her volunteer work on behalf of Country 92.5 FM’s St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital fundraiser.
Edna also achieved The Women of the Year award from the Meriden Professional Women’s Association and was awarded for a business that she began called The Creative Lady Soap Shoppe.
I might be a bit prejudiced, but in my entire life I have never met a person with a more positive outlook. I know that I put her to the test numerous times.
Over the years, I have had many medical issues, some of them putting me at death’s door and she was able to get me through all of them. She is just that kind of person.
One of the darkest times in our lives came with the news that our son Keith was taken from us in a motorcycle accident. I was so overcome with grief I felt that my world had come to an end, but my Darlin’ Edna got me through it.
If it wasn’t for Edna, I would not have been able to write this column that I have been doing since 1982.
Once again, she was the wind beneath my wings as I started the column. Over the years, she tutored me on adjusting to first using a typewriter, and then moving onto various computers to do my work.
Considering it was me that she was trying to teach, it was no easy task for her, but she always made the hard things look easy. The impossible took a little while, but she never failed in her mission.
Once the column became established, Edna encouraged me to join the New England Outdoor Writer’s Association and then a national writer’s group, Outdoor Writer’s Association of America. Thanks to Edna, a whole new world of adventures opened up for us.
Over the years, we traveled to many different states for conventions of the different outdoor writer’s groups.
My Darlin’ Edna was the one responsible for the publication of three books I authored. Believe me when I tell you that would never have happened without her input.
I even drafted her, every once in a while, into helping me get deer that I harvested out of the woods. SShe took to the task like she had done it all her life.
Many of the dog owners who enjoy running their dogs at the Meriden Dog Park at Beaver Pond off of Hicks Avenue can thank Edna and the committee she chaired for being there. It was no easy task, but it is now a wonderful spot for your dog to for some exercise.
In her retirement years, my Darlin’ Edna was really enjoying her retirement and then a darkness surfaced in her life. She lost her eyesight.
It’s been four and a half years now, and while she can see various shapes, she is still legally blind.
For most people, this would have been the time to throw in the proverbial towel, but not my Darlin’ Edna.
She is more determined than ever to not let her loss of sight put her down. Many folks who meet her have a hard time believing that she is really blind, and there are times that that includes even me.
She moves about our home like a person with perfect vision, and if I overstep my bounds to try and do something for her, I am quickly put in my place.
Sometimes I have a hard time trying to slow her down.
My Darlin’ Edna is still the wind beneath my wings and I figured that Mother’s Day week would be a good time to share this amazing woman with you, our readers.
Edna, I love you more than I did yesterday, but not as much as I will tomorrow. Happy Mother’s Day!
And to all of the other mothers out there, we would like to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day as well.
The Children’s Fishing Derby takes place Saturday, May 13 on Mirror Lake in Hubbard Park.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to noon and there will be free refreshments for participants.
DEEP Inland Fisheries will be on hand to let the kids stock trout between 8:30-9:30 a.m. Plenty of prizes and signup starts at 9 a.m.
The derby will be held rain or shine.
See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops, police, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving in this great country of ours.