3 of 51
© 2023 Susan Rosenberg Jones
Nanette-27 years together, 11 years after: "Fred had many motorcycle accidents in his life and a year or two before this, he had had an accident and almost lost his life. And then, he borrowed someone's motorcycle because he had given up motorcycle riding. We talked about motorcycles all the time in therapy. The person who lent him the motorcycle didn't have insurance. So, Fred had to pay the person $5,000 because he totaled his bike. I think because he had that accident, he realized he could die. And he got an incredible life insurance policy for me, but never told me. And I had no idea.
You know, I learned more about my marriage, I think after, than during. I learned a lot from Fred, and we didn't have kids, so we traveled a lot, all over the world. And so, was I happily married? You know, my therapist told me, when I first told her I was going to marry Fred, ‘Don't marry him. He's your mom.’ My mom was very needy. You know, I had to be her mom. So, I took on that role with Fred. When we traveled, he'd have this fit and I'd have to fix things, you know, or like the whole trip, for example when we went to India, I'd have to plan everything out, no input. He didn't have any energy to give to anything at home. Well, that's not entirely true. I mean he gardened, and he did provide a nice living, so we didn't have to financially worry about things.
My therapist was supportive. My family was supportive. My friends were very supportive, but you know, I must add to all that. I don't think it lasted long enough. And they don't understand.
I did have trouble letting go of Fred. So much of my artwork started because of Fred. He had gotten killed on the expressway. While driving, I started noticing retread and blown out tires. And then I found one on the expressway and I picked it up and I went to my sister and she's like, don't get killed picking up retread and blown out tires. Every expressway has a dump. So, all you need to do is go to the dump, explain your story and you can get what they pick up on the expressway. I went to the dump, talked to the guy, and I stopped there every week to look through what was there; I had so many tires and I started taking pictures of them. And then they started reminding me of body parts. And I did get rid of all of them, except for one. So, everything was still revolving around Fred.
There's something comforting to know I got through it, you know, like at Fred's Memorial people would say, you're doing so well, are you on drugs? and I'd be like, no, I don't want to have to fall and have to get up again. So, I'm going to stay up, and just do the best I can."