It was a year ago this Thursday that my wife drew her last breath. Of course, I am having some serious emotions about that. I decided that to commemorate her life, I will write some heartfelt posts about her this week that will allow you to get to know her. Writing is what I do best, so I think that is the most appropriate way to remember how much she meant to me. It will also help me to have some closure that I need heading into year two.
Today, let’s start out with her early years
One of the things that astounded me about Yvonne’s childhood was the number of photos she had of those years. Most of them were small pictures pasted in a binder. One of the times in her life she talked about often was when she with her mom and dad lived on a farm. Those were perhaps her most pleasant years of her childhood. When she was barely a teenager, she had lost both of them to illnesses.
She often told me stories about how much fun she had in her “farm” years. She had countless cousins, aunts, and uncles, that frequently got together to celebrate almost anything. But, most importantly she had her farm animals to love and to ride! Yes, cow riding seemed to be fashionable for young girls in northern Wisconsin during those times. 🤪
She had a deep lifelong love for all animals. I always kidded her that I was no better than third in our household, behind her pets. I can remember the time in 1987 when we took our first road trip together. We went out west to Montana and Wyoming, I think. We were traveling along a desolate two lane road with both sides covered with prairie dog holes that seemed to go on for miles. It would not be long before we heard “crunch crunch“. When she discovered that the noise was coming from running over one of the many prairie dogs that crossed the road, she insisted that we drive no more than 5 mph, so we didn’t hit another one. I thought she was kidding, but I later emphatically found out she wasn’t. I told her it would add hours to our trip if we did that, so I ignored her request. With every “crunch” she cried out a little louder. She didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day. 😵💫
In closing out this first post, one of my favorite photos of her in early childhood is this one. Her eyes are so intense and her “Mona Lisa” smile just draws me in. I wished I could have known, and married her, much earlier in life. She desperately wanted to have a houseful of kids, but fate would sadly deny her that.