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Opinion: Living life alone

It has been a hard week. In case you haven’t heard, my husband Fred G. Nix died on Monday. I know some people prefer terms like passed on or went to meet Jesus, the truth is he died, dang it. I was 20 years old when we met and he was 29. We have been a couple since 1975.

I always told him how much better looking he was on the back of his Harley Davidson. Riding motorcycles in the 1970s and 1980s was amazing. We gave it up in 1992 when the “Nanny State,” instituted a mandatory helmet law. We parked our bikes and never rode again.

I had a Honda 185 that I rode everywhere I could. It was brilliant.

My mother, a former emergency room nurse, lectured my brothers on the evils of motorcycles. She never really gave me the sermon, but I was a nosey little kid and I heard everything said in that house, so I knew how she felt. You should have seen the look on her face when I pulled into her driveway on my shiny new bike. Neither of my brothers have ever owned a motorcycle and I owned several.

I buried Fred in a Harley Davidson T-shirt and black wranglers.

We have had a lot of fun the last 47 years. We helped each other through our parents’ final illnesses. Anyone who has been through it understands what I’m talking about.

We chased Lionel Trains all over the country. We once co-chaired the National Convention of the Toy Train Operating Society at the Fresno Convention Center. It took four years to plan and was highly successful.

We visited the Harley Davidson Factory in York, Pennsylvania, and the Lionel Train Factory in Dearborn, Michigan. We went to several of the Smithsonian Museums when we spent five days in Washington, D.C.

We were married the day after Thanksgiving in 1979. He always insisted we celebrate the day after Thanksgiving. He didn’t want to be one of those husbands that forgot his wedding anniversary.

After a quickie ceremony in Reno, Nevada, we spent the entire rest of the day at the Harrah’s Antique Auto Museum. I discovered something interesting that day. You see a Hot-Rod or a Packard on the street and you turn your head to look. When I spent about seven hours looking at them, I experienced cool-car-burn-out.

When we were first dating, we discussed the idea of having children. Personally, it always sounded like too much risk (and expense) for too little reward. Fred felt the same way. We revisited the subject about 10 years later and decided it still sounded like a bad idea.

Many people told us we would one day regret not having children. I guess if its going to happen, now seems like a likely time. Sorry, not feeling it. Our life belonged to us and now to me.

I’m not sure what the future holds. I intend to continue writing this column as long as possible.

Fred never liked being written about in this space, not that it mattered since he rarely read it. He never really got how much I enjoyed writing, “Gravy by the Slice,” and being Tami Jo Nix at The Madera Tribune. The name of the column was his idea.

One Thanksgiving I asked him if he would like a slice of the gravy I had made. Yes, my gravy is that bad. He said “Gravy by the Slice,” sounds like an op-ed column. Chuck Doud bought into it and I replaced a departing colleague’s space. His column was titled “Lookin’ for Bar,” short for “I was looking for a bar when I found this job.”

My first weekly (weakly) column appeared in September of 2006.

Based on Fred’s great aversion to funerals we won’t be having a service of any kind.

Thanx for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a blessed weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.


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