I remember Ed. And how I remember Ed. Let the world know I didn't have a good marriage, I had a great marriage. Life was one big date.
"Where do you want to go for dinner, Lin?" "What errands do you need to run today, Hon?" "Do you need anything from the store? I'll get it." "Don't get out of bed. I'll walk Izzy."
It was a warm afternoon on the streets of Hong Kong. He was tired. I was not. I didn't want to go back to our hotel. I insisted we explore some more. We were someplace in Central when I stopped and looked in a store window. White veiled porcelain dolls dressed in white satin crinoline gowns lined the shelves.
I said, "Did I tell you I never had a bride doll when I was a little girl?" I can still feel the warmth of Ed's hand in mine. I said, "I never had any dolls."
It was after we returned from China, after the jet lag, after the snow had melted, it was one week later Ed arrived home from work. He was tired, hungry, and he toted a black canvas sack over one shoulder. He looked like Santa Claus. He said, "Follow me." And I tagged him up the flight of stairs to our bedroom wondering what the heck was in that sack.
And more dolls.
Dolls with shiny braids. Dolls with ribboned pony tails. Dolls with banana curls. And like a patchwork quilt, they were spread out on our bed. They had painted faces with apple cheeks, and painted lips, with eyes like marbles, and eyes with lashes curled and trimmed, and eyes that blinked like a neon sign. One doll was dressed in red plastic boots, red plastic slicker, and red plastic rain hat and carried a red plastic umbrella; one doll was dressed in a sun dress, and clutched a matching straw hat, streamed with ribbons, and trimmed in white daisies. One doll wore horn rimmed eyeglasses and carried a leather knapsack with tiny books inside it.
One doll, two dolls, three dolls, more.
And in the middle of that porcelain parade was the most magnificent doll of all--yes, you guessed it--a b-r-i-d-e doll.
Her dress was white satin, trimmed in white lace, and she wore a white veil that covered her face. Her hair had curls and her curls had pearls. She stood 2' tall, and carried a bouquet of white roses with a trail of white ivy tied neatly in a white satin bow.
When I stopped screaming, I cried--tears of joy.
It is 1,021 days since Edward died. 1,021 days since I held that man in my arms. 1,021 days since his lips touched mine. Not a minute, not a moment, not a day goes by I don't remember him, or the dolls he gave me.
They are my children now. The bride doll is my pride and joy. They line a shelf in what use to be our bedroom. Often I look at them, remembering what once was, and what might have been.
If I live to be 1,002, I will never forget Edward, the way he loved me back, and the wonderful things he did for me.
Goodnight, Ed Sclier, wherever you are.