This is a story about a rock chick named Catherine. She is one of those few people you meet in life and get instantly impressed with. She has an amazing positive aura, a smile as bright as the sun, pretty eyes and wrinkles around them which give you a sneak peek into her wisdom and strength. She has the most beautiful silver hair neatly tied in a bun. She is almost 65 years old – I know a woman shouldn’t be talking about her age so openly but when I asked her she said she is proud to be still standing at the age of 65 – happy and thankful.
I knew nothing about her story when I met her but still instantly started liking her. She was so easy to talk to. Compassionate and kind, listening to me go on about my life. I never share personal details about my life so easily but found myself telling her things I never usually discuss with people I just meet. She seemed genuinely interested and had a knowing smile on her face – I guess because my problems seemed so minuscule compared to the experiences she had in her life. There I was telling her about my dating life or how I don’t believe love exists anymore. Talking to her about wanting to do more in life but not finding the time. Telling her it is such a pain to grow up and the never ending responsibilities that come with it. She gave me advice which was simple yet effective coming from a real place, full of practicality.
I am not going to share how I met her because that could disclose her identity. I do not remember how we dwelled into a more deeper conversation. Her story shook and moved me from within. I could not believe my eyes that she is this person today even after what she went through! So here goes the story of my lovely Catherine!
Catherine was born and brought up in Houston, Texas. She lost her parents at a very young age and was being taken care of by her uncle. When she was 12 years old her uncle started touching her inappropriately. Her own paternal uncle whom she looked up to as a father figure – her only relative in this world. It was subtle at first but as she grew into her teens, her lecherous uncle could not control himself. He raped her the first time when she was 14. Back then she was really innocent and naïve. It took her a long time to understand what was happening with her. All she remembered was feeling numb and at the same time in so much pain. This horrendous torture went on for years until she completed her education and moved out. Her uncle grew old and with God’s mercy did not have the energy to pursue her further. I am not going to share the details of this horrible and inhuman experience because I want to fiercely protect Catherine’s respect and dignity. Hence there will no sharing of pictures or full name will be given out in this story. The picture in the post is for representation purposes only.
I am amazed that Catherine could even complete her education and pass with flying colors. She began her successful career as an environmentalist and focussed all her energy into work. She was hard-working and dynamic. She dated men but could never fully open up to them. She was the one everyone wanted but could never get. She was always dressed elegantly and carried herself with poise. The only time her pain came out was when she went for therapy and her therapist was her best friend – the only one she could trust. She told me that men thought she was hard to get but in reality, she was just trying to find herself. She soared in her career. Finally, at the age of 50 she met the love of her life. She told me that until then she never felt so much affection for anyone else as she did for him. Alan was a divorcee and was head over heels in love with Catherine. He pursued her for a year. Catherine had this huge smile on his face while talking about him. She said “I made him work for it”
She had almost given up on finding love. How many people meet their soulmate at the age of 50?! He proposed her many times but she kept postponing it until finally after 2 years she said “YES”! They had a beautiful marriage and enough money for their old age post retirement. They planned to travel the world. They had their sweet Sunday morning ritual where Alan would make her pancakes – it is her favorite😊 They did this everyday till they were together.
One morning Alan was watching a soccer game. Catherine was in the other room talking to her neighbor when she heard a loud thud. As she ran across the hall she saw Alan on the floor. She immediately called 911 but she already knew he was gone. He suffered a major stroke and passed away on the spot. Catherine was in shock .. he was just watching the soccer game a few minutes ago! The paramedics were trying to revive Alan and Catherine just stood there- her world coming to a standstill.
I can never imagine in seven lifetimes what she went through that morning. Many years have passed since and she told me that all this made her stronger, positive and taught her to be a better human being. How does someone be so optimistic after going through hell and back since her childhood? She overcame losing her parents, undergoing years of sexual abuse, stigma from society, being single till 50, losing the love of her life and is not survived by anyone. She is such a huge inspiration to me. Here I was cribbing about my petty little problems and she had already fought a war and how!
Most women would give up if so many challenging and earth-shaking events hit them one after the other. Till date she works for the better of society, she lives in the fond memories of her and Alan, looks like a million bucks (makes sure of it) and has this amazing energy around her. Catherine still believes in true love. The years she spent with Alan is the best time of her life as he showered her with so much love – the love she never got which healed all her wounds. I asked her if she had any regrets in life and she said “YES, just one – I should have married Alan earlier”
Kudos to you Catherine. You are truly my hero and you are one of the most thoughtful, genuine and warm people I have ever met. Thank you for sharing your priceless life experiences with me. I am sure you are going to inspire so many women who are on the verge of giving up.