Love & devotion

My Darling reads the Herald newspaper everyday, in every imaginable place, on his iPhone. It drives me crazy sometimes. Except when he sends me interesting human interest tidbits like this…

Devoted widower to rejoin wife

Love and devotion Rocky and Julita AbalsamoLove and devotion - Rocky AbalsamoA man who sat at his wife’s grave for almost 20 years through storms, heatwaves and howling winds from dawn to dusk has died.

Rocky Abalsamo will now be reunited with his beloved wife, Julita, who died in 1993 after 45 years of marriage. He will be buried on her left, the side he walked alongside her when she was alive, the Boston Globe reported.

He only left Julita’s grave site when St Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury, Boston, was closed. Then he would sprinkle crumbs across the plot so chipmunks would keep her company when he could not.

Rocky, who was 97 when he died, rose to prominence in 1990 when his vigil became known. He told the Boston Globe “She is part of me, so here I am whole. Being here makes me feel better. Not good, but better. I do it for Julita, and for myself.”

He sat beside his wife’s grave in a blue beach chair, calling out, “I am here”, when he sat down. On her birthday each year he would toast her with a glass of cider. Every night he left, Rocky would rub his finger on her name on the red granite stone. The ritual left an indelible mark.

He always carried a photograph of his wife. On the back of the image, Julita had written: “Today the sky smiles to me. I see you. You look at me. Today I believe in God. With all my love, Julita.”

The couple met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1937 and married a year later. They followed their children to the US in 1971.

As Rocky’s story became widely known, he began to receive visitors at the grave who would bring him meals and gifts.

What an incredible bond. When I googled to find some more photos of the couple I stumbled on a hysterically titled site Confessions of a Funeral Director which the story was featured in as well. I thought the post Hippos Kill More People than Sharks and other Useless Death Data was the best… and this one I found… we all know the beautiful Ryan Gosling movie the Notebook (sadly James Garner who played the loving and devoted husband died last month)…

The real Notebook

The Real NotebookKenny and Helen Felumlee were introduced when they were teenagers – by Kenny’s ex-girlfriend. After dating for two years, the couple decided to get married. Immediately. Even though Kenny was only two days shy of his 21st birthday – the legal age for men in Ohio at the time – the pair drove to Kentucky to elope. They married on February 20, 1944, and spent the next 70 years together.

The couple raised eight children with Helen staying at home while Kenny worked for the railroad as a car inspector, ran a automobile repair place, and even carried mail for the town of Nashport. Helen was known for sending personalized greeting cards for any and every event, causing her family to joke that she “kept Hallmark in business.”

Once all their children had left home, the Felumlees travelled around the United States by bus. They preferred that mode of transportation so they could see everything along the way.

According to their children Kenny and Helen never spent a night apart even preferring to share a bunk bed rather than sleeping in separate beds on a trip. When Kenny became too ill to sleep in the bedroom, Helen slept on the floor nearby so they could stay together.

Helen Felumlee died on April 12, 2014 at the age of 92. Kenny Felumlee died 15 hours later on April 13, 2014 at the age of 93.

I’m sure there are millions more stories like this of unconditional love and devotion. I hope yours is one of them. I know mine is.

(My Darling – you know I have issues with graveyards though! xxx)

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