Chocolate Kisses 2: Pearl Epiloguebycalibeachgirl©
Copyright @ calibeachgirl
All rights reserved, 2011
Epilog: September 4th, 1985
HONOLULU (AP) Rear Admiral James Ewart and his wife of over 50 years, Bethany Rose, died within moments of each other, Friday, August 30th at their home in Popukea.
Although a fighter ace during World War One, the admiral and his wife were members of the Office of Naval Intelligence starting with the attack at Pearl Harbor and they kept their hand in as consultants until 1983.
Services will be held at the family estate and although several high-ranking members of the Navy and Marine Corps will be present, the memorial will be closed to the public...
Admiral James Ewart Crowell turned to his family members and began to speak, trying hard not to cry.
"We are gathered here today to celebrate the lives of Gram and Granddad.
"We are gathered here today to honor a man and a woman who spent their lives protecting this country from those seeking to destroy it.
"The president wanted to come, today but I asked him, politely, of course..."
He was interrupted by laughter from the crowd.
"I asked him to just let this be a family affair. It's been a while since they were in Naval Intelligence..."
There was a gasp from some of the youngest there. The old couple was always thought to be just Gram and Granddad who always had cookies and ready money and old cars to ride around in. Spies? They were spies?
"And we all know, or should know, what crazy days those were. We're still here, thank God and I'd like to think a lot of that had to do with what they and their colleagues were doing over the years."
The admiral spoke to the crowd on the hill, quiet once more in their respect for the man and his wife who had died within minutes of each other, first him and then her, as if she could not live without him in her life.
Her granddaughter was with her those final moments and remarked that her last words were "Catherine"; she thought Gram was speaking to her but her own mother told her later that was not the case at all.
"More importantly," the admiral continued, "we are here to remember Jim and Bethany Rose who cast aside the constraints of the time and started a family here in Hawaii that led to all of us today. Look around you and what do you see? Family, no matter what we look like, we are the 'family'."
He wished there were more of a breeze to cool the temperature. Even though everyone knew this day would come, its arrival still shook them to their being. It was hard to imagine life without the two, patriarch and matriarch of the family that had flown in from all parts of the world to attend this memorial service.
"How do you sum up the lives of two people so important to all of us in such a short time that we have today? As they lived their lives together, they fought two battles: keeping us all safe from our enemies abroad and from our society here, teaching us to accomplish whatever it was that we set out to do.
"I look around and see my brothers, sisters and cousins, all successful in their own ways... doctors, lawyers, teachers, members of the military following their steps. Yes, we are not all here... John and Eliza have been gone for many years. We lost John, Jimmy and Stephen during Vietnam and Mary Beth and Susan...
"Losing Susan, I think hurt us all more than anything else. I know that Gram felt so hurt..." There were nods in the crowd while the younger ones stood respectfully silent but the hurt wasn't there for them, they still knew the story.
"My sister Catherine told me what happened when Gram passed. She said "Catherine," and my sister thought she was speaking to her but our mother has a different idea and who are we to argue with her?
"Catherine was Granddad's first wife. Yes, there was another family before us, one that was as full of love as anything we've been given and it ended in... Well, you'll learn about that later, if you don't alread know. Before we leave here, today, you younger ones will continue a tradition that started back in 1932 and has never been forgotten by placing flowers on their memorials here.
"They are as much family as anyone of us standing here today and God help anyone of us who forgets that. Gram would come up here to talk to God and work through her problems.
"Yes, Gram had problems, who doesn't? They were incredibly in love, all these fifty or so years and yet, just before the War... well, ask someone older than you are for the story and if they decide you're old enough to understand, they'll tell you.
"Mom says that she believes Catherine was waiting for Gram to bring her to Granddad.
"Believe what you want, but it makes as much sense as anything else I've seen over the years. Call me a romantic if you wish, but I believe it.
"Before you leave tonight, each of you will be given a copy of their memoirs. They started writing it about five years ago and tells the tale of their life together, starting with Granddad's time in Europe as a 16-victory air ace.
"It's called 'Chocolate Kisses'... those of us old enough remember that was what he always asked Gram for... the man had a sense of humor that kept the two of them sane during their secret life in the O.N.I.
"...thank you for coming today to remember them and re-unite the family."
THANK YOU for reading the Chocolate Kisses stories.