The Bell Ringers
My stepfather’s first wife’s obituary didn’t fill in any of the blanks to lead me closer to the whereabouts of their daughter, granddaughter, or son’s widow. However, I had the chance to read about a woman’s life that was admirable. Her passions were clearly evident that she cared about making a difference in children’s lives, much the same as I do. The two of them—she and my dad had started out their lives and careers together. Ironically, in the end, his wife retired after 45 years as being a long-time high school Spanish teacher and my father was a Radiologist for 45 years. The difference between the two was the word “generosity.” My father obviously could have built many health clinics for the poor and disadvantaged in Mexico, but he never emulated humanity. While on the other hand, this woman impressively gave of her time and everything she owned to helping others.
Her second husband’s obituary spoke of a more simple man whose life seemed to be less complicated. He married her as a much older couple, with a pre-marital agreement curiously noted in the will. The two of them died four days apart from each other and all she left him was her home. I contacted his son listed on her late husband’s obituary. I was hoping that he might be able to provide me with clues as to why 75 percent of my father’s first wife’s “guarded” trust estate had gone to the Salvation Army as trustee for the support and the maintenance of their daughter.
All I knew about the Salvation Army was the bell ringers at the holidays collecting money for charity.