A churchy hush filled the Treatment Room as I crawled between soft sheets, and turned on my stomach. A husky, unfamiliar male voice whispered, “Are you okay?” as gentle hands smoothed my hair from my face, coating my neck and shoulders with pungent oils. Trembling, I closed my eyes as strong fingers stole around my ribs. Soothing, lethargic, oriental music played in the background as flutes made soft whistles and bells tinkled gurgles of pleasure; a blending serenade came from some instrument that could have been a piccolo as it blew out the sounds of rustling wings or unknown creatures sliding through damp, jungly bushes. I reached across and joined hands with the body on the table next to mine. I would love for this to go on forever. Husband Willard and I were on a Caribbean Cruise celebrating our anniversary with our two boys and their wives and they had treated us to a massage. After the massage, then a gourmet dinner, this unforgotten, treasured day was drawing to a close. Back in our stateroom, a little too much champagne became my reality and heartburn was my husband's. Willard finished his night by giving me a deep hug, drinking a glass of milk instead of champagne, then dropping off to beddy-bye. Not quite done yet, raising one more glass of bubbly, I walked around the small bed and opened the balcony door, watching the shoreline fade from sight. Reflections from Cozumel blinked in sparkling amber colors across the moonlit water as the ship pulled away from the island and headed out to sea. For some reason, it seemed as if a hand pressed against my chest. I had a hard time breathing. I took deep breaths, I may have felt the window of time slowly closing. Now, today, January 17, many years later, on what been what would have been our sixty-third anniversary, the swinging waves of time roll on. This night I raise no bubbly, but allow myself a few moments of reflection. So much time has passed—so many moments slip by, lost in the rising and ebbing tides of time as I write these words. On this special day, as I often do pages of my memory book were opened and I return to past chapters, reviewing happy moments. The Boggan family lived across the street from mine, the Brents, on Eagle Avenue. I was just a seven year old little girl when I first saw the handsome, dark-haired sailor in his white uniform getting out of a car. So many times after that my friend Ann Hand Dunbar and I used to crouch beneath a magnolia bush or stand tip-toed behind an oak tree and watch for him coming and going, the two of us hiding, pointing and giggling. And I always wanted to see more of him, to talk to him. But, back then, that wasn't to be. Many years passed before my childhood, toe-standing dreams came true. I, a divorcee, was working at the hospital admissions desk at University Hospital. Willard was practicing medicine in Jackson and when he made his evening rounds every afternoon he and I developed a speaking acquaintance. When I heard that Dr. Boggan and his wife were separated I had a heart-stabbing feeling and I thought--if they don't get back together. Late one afternoon, after he made his University Hospital rounds, Dr. Boggan stopped by my desk. "When does your husband graduate from medical school?" he asked. I needed to set the record straight in a hurry. "Oh, we're divorced," I said quickly. With those words, the good Doctor's attention was flagged. A smile spread across his face, dimples deep enough to grow daisies in showed. "Oh!" He gave a quick hand wave then left. A short while later the desk phone rang. "This is Willard and I'd like to ask you something." "Yes sir," I said. "Lottie, please don't say sir. I'm recently divorced and called to ask if I could take you to dinner?" My mouth dry, my heart nearly pounding from my chest, "Oh yes!" I said. And from that moment on, oh, those happy years—I thought they'd never end. But, ebbing beneath the tides of time, they did wash away. Still, death was not the end of our love, I hold you close in my heart. In the silence of the night I hear your voice, feel the gentle touch of your arm across my shoulders. And sometimes, when I kinda know I'm misbehaving, I feel those Irish eyes looking down at me. I see a slight head shake, and a deep-dimple grin. "Lottie Bee. Lottie Bee. You know better. Behave yourself, Lottie Bee."