By: Anne Corke

Feb 08 2014

Tags: , ,

Category: Life stories, Trains


Focal Length:23.752mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

On Tuesday, January 28th 2014 my life changed forever. Gary, my husband of 30 years, my soulmate, passed away after a long struggle with cancer. While I am heartbroken, I am also glad that his suffering is over. The last three years have been an epic struggle, with chemo, radiation, surgery, more radiation and more chemo. And through it all, Gary never gave up hope. Although he was given just a year to live in September 2012, Gary set three goals for himself. He wanted to celebrate his 69th birthday, our 30th wedding anniversary and one last family Christmas. Through sheer determination he managed to achieve all these goals before being admitted to hospital on New Year’s Eve.

Looking back over 30 years of marriage, we had far more good times than bad. We rarely fought though we often disagreed. We were always there for one another, always loyal, always in love though at times we might not have liked each other. We were a team. But now he’s gone and Jeremy and I have to come to terms with that and carry on without him. I know that we were privileged to have shared our lives with him. As the days go by, I hope we can forget the illness and suffering and just remember the good times. Gary will always be in our hearts.

A lifelong hobby that Gary shared with Jeremy was model railroading. Together the boys built a large layout in the basement. At one end of the room hangs a sign which reads: “I’ll be really pissed if I die before I get this layout finished..” Well, it’s not finished and Gary, wherever you are, you are no doubt pissed. But fear not, Jeremy will continue work on the Trent Valley Railway and one day it will be completed. On February 1st, the day of Gary’s memorial service, just before the opening of the Port Hope Model Railroad show, the organizers held a minute of silence for those model railroaders who had passed, including Gary. I know he would be honoured.

Gary was not a lover of poetry but I offer the following poem which seems most appropriate, with apologies to him.

Will the Lights be White?

Oft, when I feel my engine swerve,
As o’er strange rails we fare,
I strain my eyes around the curve
For what awaits us there.
When swift and free she carries me
Through yards unknown at night,
I look along the line to see
That all the lamps are white

The blue light marks the crippled car,
The green light signals slow;
The red light is a danger light,
The white light, “Let her go.”
Again the open fields we roam,
And, when the night is fair,
I look up in the starry dome
And wonder what’s up there.

For who can speak for those who dwell
Behind the curving sky?
No man has ever lived to tell
Just what it means to die.
Swift toward life’s terminal I trend,
The run seems short to-night;
God only knows what’s at the end —
I hope the lamps are white.

Cy Warman

Rest in peace, Gary. We miss you

P.S. At his memorial service, we had numerous personal items on display including Gary’s favourite brass locomotive. Only this week we discovered that the man who built this model, a charming gentleman and excellent craftsman, Hans Hudsonroder, had passed away just four days before Gary. I’d like to think that the two of them are enjoying an operating session together while they talk trains. RIP Hans.

Copyright 2014 Anne Corke

5 comments on “Changes”

  1. This is lovely Anne, Thank you.

  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  3. Sorry to hear he is gone.

  4. Hi Anne, Thank you for your beautiful blog post about your husband, Gary. I can’t really imagine what you are going through, other than to say that I’ve been married for about the same length of time and have great difficulty imagining what it would be like to be on my own after so much time. It’s wonderful that Gary was able to accomplish all three goals he set for himself. It shows how deeply he loved his family. It seems, too, that you are well on the road to coming to terms with his no longer being there (as much as anyone can come to terms with such a thing) and have a healthy attitude towards what is a very sad event. Be strong.

    Regards, Drew

    > > Anne Corke posted: “On Tuesday, January 28th 2014 my life changed > forever. Gary, my husband of 30 years, my soulmate, passed away after > a long struggle with cancer. While I am heartbroken, I am also glad > that his suffering is over. The last three years have been an epic stru” >

  5. What a powerful, loving tribute to your lives together, Anne. Gary sounds like he was a good man. My best to you.

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