Today is the 6th anniversary of the death of my second husband. Probably one of the most devastating times of my life. He was killed in an accident on All Saints Day.
It’s very ironic that he should die on this day since most would not have considered him saintly in the least. He was the type of person you either loved or hated. I was one of those that could barely tolerate him upon meeting him but circumstances threw us together and I guess his total opposite nature eventually attracted me to him.
We worked together for a period of time. He was always trying to romance me but I would have nothing to do with him. It was almost comical. He was a Romeo and a big time player and plus at the time I was dating someone else.
I eventually became engaged to that someone else and moved to San Antonio. Of course that relationship did not work out (surprise! surprise! LOL) I then moved back to Louisiana and while visiting my ex co-workers I met up with him again.
Upon learning I was no longer engaged he was on a mission because everyone at the place we worked said there was no way he would ever “get” me. How stupid of a challenge to throw at him. He never could walk away from a challenge. Well he used every bit of his charm and we had a whirlwind romance that ended in marriage within two months of our dating on June 20 1992 and then divorced less than 3 years later.
My daughter and him had a love/hate relationship for the three years but upon our divorce she got to know without all the friction that comes with having to live with someone. Everyone eventually got to know Mark the way that I did and they all came to love him dearly even my family who loathed him so much at first. He was the type of person who tried diligently to make people love him and accept him.
He was adopted as a baby and the mother who adopted him went on to marry 5 times. He was adopted twice by two of her husbands. He never had what most of us call a true father. Him and I did track down two of his biological sisters and he had a short relationship with them before dying. We also found out he had 2 brothers. All the same mother and she put all five up for adoption.
His life was never stable but I always understood him and loved him regardless of his shenanigans and let me tell you he had plenty of those! I had a very calming effect on him and I tried so hard to give him what he needed but he was such a free spirit and couldn’t be tamed no matter how much he wanted it for himself. I truly hurt for him and the day he died something also died within me. I lost a lot that day. Even though we were no longer married we had a very strong bond and love for each other.
We loved to do a lot of the same things. We both were very competative and challenged each other in games of pool, bowling, board and card games. We had fun together.
His fiancé at the time of his death had his briefcase which contained every card, letter and picture of us. He even had a piece of a Xmas tree with a ribbon wrapped around it that I had sent to him one year when he was offshore. He had a poem Brandi (my daughter had written to him about their difficult times and her love for him) The one thing he never lost was a crucifix that he carried in his briefcase and it was given to his son at his grave site.
His fiancé wanted me to come and retrieve the briefcase knowing that he would want me to have it but I never could bring myself to get it. It took me months before I could even look at a picture of him. I just couldn’t believe he was gone and I would never see him again.
My biggest regret in life was telling him one year prior to his death that we needed to stop being friends so that we could move on with our lives and I never again saw or heard from him. His fiancé told me two months prior to his death he talked to her about calling Brandi and I. He never did...
And you know...he just may be a Saint..who am I to judge?
There are times I still feel him very close to me. I miss him and his craziness. I truly believe he watches over me...Not doing a very good job but watching nevertheless!
Here’s to you Mark Charles Harland Stetler Merchant and to your birth name Kevin John Marion. I will never forget...