Chapter 32, The Hallmark Story

Lunch was pleasant, just a couple of long-time friends visiting.

After lunch, Deborah asked if we could drive up American Fork Canyon. She wanted to find a picnic spot she had been to with Bob a short time before he passed away. We found the spot, then sat at the picnic table next to the river and visited for a bit.

When we got back to the cafe, as Deborah was getting out of the car, she sat back down in the seat. She said, “I told you I was going out of town. I had Marriott points I had to use or lose. I went to Las Vegas to a Donny and Marie concert. In addition, I wanted Marie to have the program from Bob’s memorial service. Bob had delivered one of Marie’s babies, and they had been friends ever since.”

Deborah told me she received a message from Lorna while she was out of town. At least she thought it was Lorna. I told her if that was her impression, it probably was Lorna. She quickly got out of the car and left.

A few hours later, I was thinking about what Deborah said about her getting a message from Lorna. I wondered why Lorna would be giving Deborah a message. It must have some meaning for Deborah. Maybe it has something to do with me. Maybe, it had something to do with Deborah and me. In order to satisfy my increasing curiosity, I needed to find out what message Lorna had given to Deborah.

At lunch we had talked about headstones. I told her about the rock we used for Lorna’s headstone. Deborah said she had a rock in her yard that might make a good headstone for Bob. I used the rock in her yard as an excuse to go see her the next day.

After looking at the rock, we decided it wouldn’t work for a headstone.

I then asked her what message she had received from Lorna. She didn’t want to tell me. Deborah told me she hadn’t wanted to say anything the day before. She said she was “pushed” back into the car and had regretted having said anything at all ever since. I said,” Okay, that’s fine.”

We then went over to the Alpine Cemetery to Lorna’s gravesite. While there, I asked her again. “So what was the message from Lorna?” (I was on a mission).

The Song

With a bit of reluctance, she shared her experience with me.

A day or two before leaving for Las Vegas, she was at a friend’s house, the Lindsays, playing Mexican Train, a domino game. The Romneys, Lindseys and another couple the Hoffmans, would get together for games and socializing. Joan Lindsey always has background music playing softly in her home. During the game, Deborah heard a song. When she asked the group what the name of the song was, she said; “I love that song,” About fifteen minutes later, Dean Lindsay told her that it was a Frank Sinatra song, “Someone to Watch over Me.”

Deborah had invited a friend to go to Las Vegas with her. They were going to drive down. At the last minute, her friend cancelled. Instead of driving by herself to Las Vegas, Deborah took the bus from Provo.

Between St. George and Las Vegas, as Deborah is looking out the window of the bus, the song “Someone to Watch over Me” starts playing in her mind. She is in a row by herself, no one sitting to her right. As she is singing the song to herself, she hears Lorna say from the empty seat next to her,’Deborah, you need someone to watch over you…and so does Craig.’

Immediately, Deborah turns and asks out loud, ” Lorna, are you talking to me?”  She said the people on the bus probably thought she was a crazy lady, talking to an empty seat.

She was in Las Vegas for three days. She thought about what Lorna had said. She read the book The Message.

During our first phone call, I asked her is she had dated or met anyone. She said no. She had no intention of dating or getting married again. She didn’t want to take the time necessary to get to really know someone well enough to make that kind of commitment. Besides, in the year Bob had been gone she had put things pretty much in order. She was learning to doing things on her own. She had even traveled to China by herself. Generally speaking, she was doing well.

However, during those few days in Vegas, she realized she wouldn’t need to get to know me: she already knew me and our family. We had been friends for thirty years. I wasn’t an unknown. She started to warm to the idea of maybe getting married again.

On the bus ride home, the bus stopped for a lunch break at a truckstop in Parowan, Utah. While Deborah is eating lunch she heard Bob say, “It breaks my heart to see you alone. I don’t want you to be alone.”

When Deborah gets home, as she is walking into the kitchen, she look’s at a picture of Bob on the counter and hears him say, “He’s a good guy.” (She knew exactly who he was talking about). She replies, “I know he’s a good guy. What are you trying to tell me?” She says that when Bob wanted to emphasize something, he would repeat the same words again, but slowly. Bob repeated the words again slowly, “He’s a good guy.” She asks him, “Are you trying to pawn me off?” She takes the picture off the counter and puts it away.

When she finished telling me about the song and hearing from Lorna and Bob, she said, ” I’m not sure what it means. Maybe we should be friends and look out for each other.” I told her I didn’t need any more friends. Besides, we were already friends. I said, “I believe it means more than just being friends. We should spend time doing things together and see where it goes.”

We started doing things together. It was like two old friends becoming reacquainted after a long absence.

We found out we were both at Ricks College in the fall of 1966. I found my old yearbook. There are twelve pictures of Deborah in the yearbook. As we are looking through the book, I’m pointing out all of her pictures. She was getting more embarrassed with each one. She wanted to see my pictures. Pictures? “There is only one picture of me, on page 247, with 55 other freshmen.” (She had a full page all by herself for one of her photo’s.)

As she looked at my picture, she later told me that as first it was as though she was looking through a cloud. She was drawn to the photo, because there was something familiar about the person in the photo. I believe she looked back through the veil to that time before time and recognized me.

It was soon obvious to both of us that, in fact, we had “known each other forever, and loved each other forever.” For us to be together for the last five or ten or twenty years of our lives was our plan from the beginning.

In the blessing from President Butler in March of 2016, I was told that the decision to get married would be “mutually felt and understood with no words.” That’s how it happened, “mutually felt and understood with no words.” We both just knew.

We were married January 11, 2019, in the family room of the home on Matterhorn Drive in Alpine, Utah. We wanted a small, informal ceremony.

President Butler performed the wedding ceremony. In attendance besides Deborah and me were President Butler and his wife Lynn. Cory and Tracy Jensen were witnesses. (The same Cory who was told while riding his bike over the loop between AF canyon and Provo canyon in Oct 2015 by Lorna to “keep an eye on Craig”, a duty Cory and Tracy performed very well).

From the other side of the veil? Lorna, Bob and most assuredly others.