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He was a Rembrandt; a pitcher who could ‘paint the corners.’ He was a living Michelangelo’s David. And he was mine for a dreamy season of time that linked us together. We cooked, surfed, rode bikes, played tennis, sang off-key; every song on the Eagle’s Desperado album. He read Jonathan Livingston Seagull out loud to me. For my birthday he gave me a simple gold cross. For Christmas, a Bentwood rocker. We set a date, ordered invitations; I bought my bleached-muslin wedding dress. But that very night I had a nightmare that was so horrific, it sucked the life out me. I completely panicked, called off the wedding and rushed back to school. He got a steady job at the Grain Elevators. I studied furiously, graduated quickly and kept on running. February of 1978, I heard during a long-distance phone call from my broken-hearted mom that there had been an explosion 40 days earlier. He had been at work that evening. He was only 26. He died; crushed very violently; and hopefully, suddently. It has taken me thirty-seven years to finally read this dreaded Death Certificate. It lists the Cause(s) of Death. It is much too graphic, too painfully horrible to repeat. I still wear my cherished gold cross. I rock in my treasured chair. I never told him why I ran away. I never had to; I know he already knew. He wanted our love to live honored in my heart forever. It does.

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