This selection is meant to honor my second husband who worked for 42 years of his life, straight up, before he died at age 60, in 2007. Our daughter was 25. He was a French immigrant who had served in the U. S. Navy for 3 years. He had been the first state sales manager for Georgia for an Italian wine distributor when we were first married. He, later, owned his own business for 5 years of salad dressings he had created himself, via his recipes, and had sold his salad dressings up and down the East Coast until one corporation bought out another and his products were cut out in the process.
The last 17 years of his life he had labored in retail for various grocery corporations, first as a wine steward, and then in other areas. He coped with that tedium by changing jobs or companies about every two years. At the end of his life, Walmart would not allow a transfer, even with his doctor’s statement of need, so my husband had enough pride and strength to go out and get a full time job at Home Depot when he was 60 years old. He had gone into his last WalMart store to finalize paperwork before moving on to Home Depot when he had his major stroke on the floor of that WalMart store just before he had signed those papers. He died 3 days later in the hospital, having lost all consciousness after 12 hours. He was completely physically and emotionally worn out. But, he never gave up. Home Depot’s management were so impressed with him that they sent him a beautiful bouquet of flowers for his funeral, as did his fellow workers at WalMart, with many notes included. He had a joy for life, but not the education to have fulfilled his dreams and his capabilities, but he worked until the end of his life for our daughter and for me. There was something artistic in his nature, but he did not enjoy theater as much as I do. Once, we three had gone to see Marcel Marceau in Atlanta and he fell asleep and snored to our child’s and my amusement in the balcony. But, my husband did love the musical, “Les Miserables,” and bought a recording of it that he would play in his beautiful truck, which he loved. This song is to honor this outstanding and classy man whom I was fortunate to have had in my life for 29 years, and 30 St. Patrick’s Days spent together, celebrating.
This song captures his love and his spirit as both husband and father. How pleased I am to present him to this viewing audience, via this song from “Les Miserables.”