She would likely not have encouraged me to write this piece. But I owe it to Carol , and to myself to try, that is, to attempt to honor her and all that she lived for, not just for me and her family and friends, but for life, for joy, for sports, for love, for her faith, and above all, for peace in the world, the singular goal she desired more than any other.
As noted elsewhere , my beloved wife of the past 25 years passed away on September 11th of this year. She was five days short of her 85th birthday.
I'm two plus years older, 87 and counting. We first met in 1944, 78 years ago, if my math is accurate. We dated some in our late teens and early 20s, but it was not until 1994 that we connected in a way that would lead to the best 25 years of my life, and I trust, in many ways, to the happiest years of hers.
We built a home together in College Station in 1998; and we lived in our home until she departed. And boy! Is it ever a lonely place without her!
I shall make it a while longer, I think. She would have wanted me to live on for as long as possible.
But whatever the time I have left, I dedicate it to her, to Carol Dean Walker Pate. Please, dear reader, pray that I will so live as to honor her and the faith we shared.
Carol was a beautiful person, inside and out. Everybody who has known her would say that, even the children who sided with their dad when Carol and he divorced. And, yes, we who have known her would all agree that she was exceptionally well organized, a genuinely considerate person and a priceless spiritual resource to many, especially to me, her minister husband.
In her Last Will and Testament Carol left all her monetary assets to charity, in particular to organizations that benefit the poor, the handicapped and those stricken with a gravely serious disease.
Carol cared. Indeed, she did. In fact, she took such good care of me in every respect she spoiled me "rotten" as they say. But understand. I have not whined a single moment. I loved every minute of the spoiling!
Carol loved her children dearly. She grieved most every moment of every day when they stepped away from her. She prayed for them. She tried very hard to understand their separateness. Ah, would that they knew and understood her as I came to do!
Carol's dying was a six-month act of faith for her. She had trouble, at first, accepting the fact that cancer would take her shortly, but she did, and she did so reverently, quietly; and except for the discomfort that was hers in her closing days, without complaint.
I must be honest here. I do wish Carol's last days had gone better than they did. But neither she nor I was able to help the other any longer; and she was taken from our home, the home where I had promised I would do my best to see that she died.
Worse yet, her brothers intervened in an attempt to gain access to Carol's assets. And to do so, they had to make me the villain. They threatened and manipulated me with the help of naive, inexperienced hospice personnel. But never did they succeed, nor will they! That I can confirm. And I will!
Still to this very day, Carol is so awesomely beautiful, more so now for me, I believe, than ever.
I first fell in love with her in late August of 1955, as I was about to begin my second year of college, on a "dance" date.
We parted in 1957. She married another. And so did I, in Georgia, where I began my 63 years of ministry.
Ultimately, we divorced (twice for me). Then, in 1994 I called her. I was single and living in Galveston, she in San Antonio. We connected. I moved to the Alamo City where we were married in August of 1997, the same year I began a three-year interim ministry in Bryan.
The rest is history. Twenty-five years, our God gave us together. Wunderbar! Beyond my ability to express in words!
Love deeply, my friends. It will hurt when your loved one is gone. But the hurt will be far outbalanced by the love.
Know that. One of God's angels taught me.
Andrew "Andy" Pate, October 15, 2022, College Station, TX.