When my grandfather died in February 2002, my grandmother wrote the following poem. At the time I was 18 and knew little about love. As naive as I was, I realized how devastating it would be to lose the love of your life after 56 years of marriage.
In August of that year, shortly before she left Mississippi to move back to Naples, Italy, she wrote this poem commemorating their life together:
Bill and I
He came from the clouds On the Isle of Capri And his blue eyes Matched our beautiful sea. We played tennis, swam, danced Looked at the stars and the moon above And to our own surprise We soon were in love.
It was 1945 when I walked down the aisle And to the amazement of friends I became a war bride. We spent our honeymoon on the Isle of Capri And that was a real treat to me. Then there was Foggia in south Italy Where Bill was stationed And where we lived.
Six month flew by fast Bill was first to return to the U.S. I followed shortly And in 1946 it was Corinth, Mississippi also for me Later Meridian was our home For almost nine years And there we rejoiced For the birth of our son, Fred Blonde curls and blue eyed And of course the joy of our life. The years went by fast And when he was five We went back to Italy And without knowing it To start a new life.
There in Naples Our little girl was born To join our darling son. Tina Jennie was so pretty Sweet and blonde A real bundle of joy And our dreams were filled With a girl and a boy. In Naples we stayed For 36 years Spending our summers on Capri The children were loving it And so did we.
Time was flying by With incredible speed The children were growing so fast And soon were to leave The family’s nest With a husband and a wife Each couple starting a new life.
Our hair was now graying But we hoped for the best And with Bill’s retirement It was back to the U.S. Our 12 years in Booneville Were nice and quiet Some trips, much golf And good friends were our pastimes. My life is now changed There is a great void For my loved one is gone After 56 years.
It is hard to be alone But my children are near me With much love and affection For this I am so grateful But I am aware still That a chapter is closed And another begins So I pray the good Lord That wherever we go He will bless us from above And keep us all three always united With our strong bond of love.
When she wrote this, she had no idea that she would ever see her adopted Mississippi home again, but she was able to return for our wedding in December 2007. She turned 90 earlier this year and is still in excellent health. I believe much of that is due to the wonderful Capri air and delicious Italian food. Both are exceptionally good for the soul.