An Unexpected Gift


Linda Campbell

I'm a 32 yr. old single mom. After leaving the Air Force and taking any job possible, I met Carl. It was something about his eyes. As if he could look right through me. I had a very shabby track record as far as relationships. If this relationship didn't succeed, I had decided that Carl would be my last and I would have to concentrate more on my child, who was getting older.

During our relationship we bumped heads, had power struggles, and then finally learned to compromise. Eventually, I discovered our main problem. Carl had a well paying job, but hadn't graduated from high school and couldn't read very well. You would never know this just from talking to him. Yet, there I was a college graduate, at least that's how he saw it. No wonder we bumped heads. Nevertheless, he taught me to humble myself as I helped him to grow.

Eventually, we became closer. He learned to drop his insecurity and grow. His relationship with my son was remarkable, once he stopped being afraid. He finally proposed to me and the wedding plans were in the making. Then out of no where Carl doesn't meet me on my new job for a lunch date. I went home and called his job and was told he was in the hospital and would probably die really soon.

I got there as soon as I could only to find him in a coma from a tumor on his brain. He had constantly complained of headaches and blurred vision. His doctor told him it was probably stress. He died the next morning, 5 minutes before I arrived. I knew I should have stayed there all night. But, I was really afraid and didn't know what to do. The night before the lunch date, I was grouchy. I kissed him good-bye,but had no idea it was really good-bye.

I feel miserable everyday. I've just started to realize that his red car will not be pullling into the drive way anymore-never. It will be a year on April 15th since he's been gone. Yet, he did leave me some precious gifts. I know I must go on. If I ever date again, I know I can take my time. I'm in no hurry to find a husband and accept any type of person. Now, I raise my son with hopes of making him a strong man. That's what Carl would have wanted to see. He will live forever in my heart.

Linda C.



You can send email to Linda at campbeld@cua.edu
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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW