Following is the dedication to Maggie that begins my book, “Wouldn’t It Be Something.” I originally wrote the book for my grandchildren so they would get to know their grandmother, since none of them were old enough when she died to recall much about her. Also, Maggie had been sick for several years prior to her death and any memories they might have had would not have been good ones.
What I didn’t realize was that this book would also be a special gift to my children. They knew their mom only as “mom.” Now they could see her as a young woman falling in love.
Dedication in “Wouldn’t It Be Something”
In memory of Mary Margaret (Brown) Depcik, my Maggie, who taught me the power of a smile, the joy of an honest laugh, the value of the simple pleasures of life, the beauty of loving someone without reservations, and the honesty of writing what you feel.
Dedicated to my children, Mike, Jenny, Erica, and Paul who will never forget their mother, for she is a part of each one of them and they are more talented, more humble, and more giving because of her.
And to our six grandchildren (Danny, Michael, Carter, Alex, Olivia and Henry) who were too young to remember what a wonderful grandmother they had, but who will know her through the loving care of their parents.
I also wanted to share the entire introduction to my book. Although some of the following was in my early posts on this site, I want to share the rest of it. It not only set the tone for my book, I hope it does the same for some writings I hope to post in the coming weeks.
Introduction to “Wouldn’t It Be Something"
I can’t remember the first time I noticed Mary Brown. I had obviously been in the same room with her a number of times, but I can’t remember noticing her.
She must have been at her mother’s funeral. I know I was there because my brother, Leo, was engaged to Mary Brown’s sister, Patsy, and their wedding was set to happen in three weeks. So, I was there at Mary Brown’s mother’s funeral and I’m sure so was Mary Brown. But I was 20 and she was only 13, just a kid to me—an insignificant kid.
I can’t remember her at my brother’s wedding, just three weeks after the funeral. I was a groomsman and Mary Brown was one of the bridesmaids. I’m certain of that because I have a picture of her and my 12-year-old sister, Nancy, who was also a bridesmaid, sitting at a table smiling into the camera. So, I’m sure she was there. I just can’t remember her.
Thirteen year old Maggie on your right. My twelve year old sister, Nancy, on your left
It wasn’t at a family function. Now that our families were connected because my brother and her sister were married, we must have crossed each other’s paths at holiday get-togethers—maybe Christmas, maybe a Fourth of July picnic. But when I recall those times, Mary Brown doesn’t come to mind.
I vaguely remember Mary Brown visiting her sister, who lived with my brother in the flat above my parents. She was rushing up the back stairs while our dog, Daisy, barked menacingly. She flashed a smile then quickened her pace before Daisy could get any closer. I can’t say I really noticed her. I mean, not in the sense that she stood out in any special way. She was just a cute kid with a nice smile. I was 22 and she was 15. She meant nothing to me.
She wrote some letters to me when I was in Boot Camp and Advanced Infantry Training. I never saved them, except for one. They didn’t mean much to me, my sister-in-law’s kid sister sending some letters to her sister’s brother-in-law who was in the service, just a nice thing to do. I certainly don’t remember the contents of those letters, except for the one I saved. I must have written back, out of courtesy, but I don't remember doing so. I was 24 and Mary Brown was 17, still in high school.
Still, Mary Brown continued to write and I continued to answer, and in the course of writing to each other over three years, everything changed. Mary Brown became far more than just a kid. She became my life.
No, I can’t remember the first time I noticed Mary Brown, but I’ll forever remember the last time I saw her. She was Mary Depcik, my Maggie. She died at our home at 9:50 Sunday morning, November 14, 2010, after 41 years, 2 months, 20 days, 9 hours, and 50 minutes of marriage.