Editor, Times-Union:

 Seeing Gary Gerard's last column reminds me of when I moved to Lancaster, Pa., back in 1995. It seems that, after I moved away and wasn't writing to this newspaper anymore, some folks got curious and began writing and asking, "What happened to that guy?” It surprised me; and so I began writing to this newspaper from 600 miles away.

Now I'm back home, but without my wife to encourage me and not being able to see her sweet face every day, there is a wound which cuts deep, and hurts to the core of my soul.

You see, I love my wife, and she loves me. However, both of us came down with health issues around the same time period, and she had to go into a hospital, then a nursing home for her healing/recovery; and I needed help from family members as I could not get around all alone. Imagine not being able to climb out of a bathtub. It took me almost an hour that last time. Talk about being scared!

It really hurts to be away from her, as she is the best thing that ever came into my life. It was this dear lady, and writing to her which gave me the courage to write to a newspaper (this one, for starters) and offer up my own thoughts about issues of the day, as well as giving little doses of what it has been like to be me, and enduring many of the abuses I suffered growing up.

She is one of my beacons of hope, to put it plainly; and to be forced by circumstances to live without her ... it is pain beyond words.

All I want in this world is to have a decent home to live in, and my wife to make it worth living in. She has been my world for many years and I would love to keep it that way. I just want to have some sense of normalcy in what has been a chaotic life.

William Gerald Smith

North Webster, via email