"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Monday, January 19, 2015

For as Long as Forever Lasts ...

Gary Wayne Cole                     Margarita H. Cole

by Margarita H. Cole

Vietnam veteran, Gary Wayne Cole, Navy Radioman, RM3, came home, discharged with an OTH and broken inside, beyond repair, to a homeland that had decided to hate the Vietnam vet.

He had many dreams that crashed, one right after another.

God chose him and he resisted.

God stayed put.

In those dark days of 1966 and 1967, the Vietnam veteran was far from imagining that God had already hand-picked someone with the capacity and the heart to love him for as long as forever lasts.

In a distant country, a little girl was born. A descendant of immigrants and stern, tough people, she also had dreams that would one day crash, one after another.

God chose her, but He had a plan.  First she would need to find the Vietnam vet.

God stayed put.
Gary and Margarita Cole

In 2000, after nearly 40 years had passed, God decided it was time to align the paths of the Vietnam veteran and the little girl, who was now a woman.

Within that one miracle, He gave each of them the unique gift of finding the love of their life.

It would not just be a life together. It was to be an adventure, where through each other, they would learn and grow and love.  

I am Margarita H. Cole, Gary's fourth wife. I was there with him through decaying health, sober, dying, and lost in the whole PTSD nightmare.

We truly considered each other to be the love of our life. 

I stood by him during the last fourteen years of his life. I embraced his cause, and I was proud to be his advocate.  

I think of myself as a "widowed wife" for life, and I will always miss him.

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Feel free to comment on this post. You are also invited to write about anything you want to share. Memoirs From Nam is YOUR blog. You are writing America's history.

Send it to me in an e-mail and I will be proud to post it for you.


  1. I'm so sorry for the loss of not only your husband, but the "love of your life." I too, am "widowed for life" which will be 23 years the 26th of February 2015. My husband passed away in 1992, thus leaving me to raise our 8 year old daughter.

    The 17 year difference in our ages didn't seem to matter; his troops seemed to keep him young. Yes, there were many difficult times after he was gone, but I was the mother of a young child who's well-being came first and foremost. She has grown into a beautiful, successful young woman and her dad is never far from our hearts or our thoughts. We share wonderful memories of him.

    Do we miss him, yes. . . . . .his laughter, sharing yard work and household chores, short trips and "adventures" and his wonderful smile when I was having a bad day. He always said tomorrow would be a better day, and he was right. You'll have some pretty tough times, but remember, time will ease some of the pain and although nothing will ever be the same, the sun will gradually shine again and you're not alone.~~Frances Foster Johnson


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