Monday, May 29, 2006

Epilogue To A Love Story

Cross posted at Howard Empowered People

Ascension Sunday.

The Earthly story of John and Mickey Oehlmann came to an end this week, when the maintanance crew came to clear their apartment. I was fortunate to have gotten the word that their family had abandoned the contents of the place, save for an air conditioner, two TVs and a couple of electric reclining chairs.

I arrived about half an hour after the crew, and asked if they'd mind if took a few rememberances, and they said whatever I took was something less for them to carry, and knowing how close we were they were glad to help.

From the moment I stepped inside the apartment, I realized that a rich history was left behind. Things that should have been held for future generations of their family lay in bags waiting to be discarded to the compactor. First I found their wedding album, and many books of family pictures. Then I found all of John's scrapbooks and trophies. Sadly his military medals seem to have been lost to the trashbin before I arrived.

But the real treasure that I've found in the garbage bags was every letter they exchanged during WWII. She had only mentioned them to me once but they were clearly one of her prized possessions. Yet my favorite item so far, even though I'm not a Catholic, was her Rosary beads from her First Communion.

Mickey passed away just before Easter, and I resolved to light a candle for them on the Catholic holiday of the Ascension. When I got on the bus to go to work on Sunday morning, I had a feeling that she was on the bus with me, holding my hand, as if we were going to meet someone. I put the thought out of my mind while I got my coffee and went downstairs to set up.

About 20 minutes later as I was singing, I suddenly found myself holding back some very deep tears, and realized that Mickey and John had been there listening to my performance. They had never heard me before and I felt them dancing just a few feet away from where I was standing.

I got all choked up and had to stop singing while resisting the urge to burst out crying, Then I felt John ask me to play "Their Song."

I took a deep breath and the words came out.

When somebody loves you
It's no good unless he loves you
All the way

I felt them looking into each other's hearts and they slowly began to dance again on the subway platform. I was trembling. The other people on the platform saw me falling apart.

Deeper than the deep blue sea is
That's how deep it goes
When it's real

Then that Love that knows no Comprehension that I always talk about swept over me, and I could almost see them.

Who knows where the road will lead us
Only a fool would say

The song ended and I felt them watching as I played "Mail Order Annie." I could sense they realized that if they stayed longer I'd never get any work done, and would probably end up a shapeless mass in a pool of my own tears. As the train arrived, I felt their love draw near to me as if in farewell. When the train stopped I felt them move toward one of the doors. It opened and they both stepped on, turned to me and waved, and went off with a smile to continue their amazing love story.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day. I am.


Melody said...

Subway, that's very beautiful!

Melody said...

Subway, this is very beautiful!

OMBlitz said...

hey pops,

google earth me!!!

As I read over the post I have but one addition to your post. The letters that were found were not only the correspondence from world war 2. The letters spanned all the way through the vietnam war. I think that this blog community shoulld be able to help you find a group or organization that would be able to archive and preserve these letters.

take it easy.