Memories of Virginia Beach
by Linda Jewell


Last year my fiancée Joe Kirby Sr. and I were to be married on the beach in Norfolk, Va. at Rudee Inlet on August 4th 2007. The motel we had chosen overlooked the ocean and rocky inlet. We had dated almost two years and visited his Aunt Pearlie there on several occasions. She went out to eat with us every evening at really nice seafood restaurants and would never let us pay a dime. She always had me bring my keyboard and play it for her. She was really looking forward to and was already helping plan the wedding reception to be at her house. The rest of Joe's vacation after our wedding and beach stay was to be at her home. We had planned many places to go and things to see. I still keep in contact with Aunt Pearlie. She lives with her son and his wife now because of a fall and broken hip. I came to love her very much and miss her.

Joe had been sick for a long time with Diabetes before I met him and had been hospitalized to keep it under control. He gradually lost a lot of weight and eventually became Insulin dependent. The last two weeks of his life were very difficult for him. I had spent Saturday with him and he seemed fine when I went home about 12:30 a.m. I received a call from him at 3:30 a.m. and he wanted me to take him to the Hospital ER. He asked me not to call an Emergency Squad and said he was vomiting and very ill and wanted me to take him.

I broke speed limits to his home in Racine. He walked out to his car and got in. I drove him thinking this was like the other times. It was still dark out and I didn't see a police car or anyone to help as things progressed worse. I started really praying because he was asking God to please help him because he was so sick. By the time I reached the four-lane I was doing 100 mph out it to the hospital and still saw no sign of possible help, and I didn't have a cell phone.

God decided to usher him out of this world with his angels while his head lay on my shoulder before I could get there. The Doctor and Nurses worked for an hour with no hope. I was told there was nothing I could have done any differently and that it was a massive heart attack due to his illness.

I immediately went into emotional shock with tremors, chills and vomiting. The Nurse wanted to give me a shot. I said no because I still had been trying to call his son and needed to contact my family and pastor. It was all very traumatic and I will never forget it. I miss Joe very much and wonder what our married life would have been together. I still love him and wear my engagement ring.

Since Joe had died two months before our wedding, I felt an inner need to travel to Virginia Beach and go down on Rudee Inlet at exactly the time in the evening of Aug. 4th where the wedding was to have taken place. I purchased two peach roses the color my dress was to be and placed rose petals upon the water and sand in memory of Joe and our love for each other. My friend and Sister-in-Christ, Carolyn, insisted I not travel alone and went along for support. I'm glad she did. A few travel problems slowed us down. A traffic tie-up getting through the Hampton tunnel under the water was one of them. I kept praying that we could arrive on the beach at the exact planned wedding time. Praise The Lord!! It was almost to the minute!! It was a beautiful evening on the shore just as I had pictured except (no wedding). We stayed and watched the beautiful sunset. I have pictures of the event.

On the way back home we visited Aunt Pearlie. Was she surprised!! She insisted we go out to dinner and again refused to let us pay a dime. I held her and cried so hard when I saw her and again when we said good-bye. She wants Carolyn and me to come down and visit her. Lord willing, we plan to. I will always have memories of Joe, Aunt Pearlie and Virginia Beach along the rocky Rudee Inlet. It is okay in life to dream and make plans, but the good Lord is always in control. Below are words that express how I felt. Carolyn put them in poem form for me. It was in our local newspaper with our picture last Aug. 4th, 2007.

Who went to be with the Lord
June 10th, 2007

You were to be my husband
I was your wife to be
The time that God gave me in your life
is now an honored memory.
Our wedding plans were all complete
on the Atlantic Ocean shore
But now you walk with Angels
in God's presence evermore.
Although our life together wed
was never meant to be
I'll join you on that Heavenly Shore
through all eternity.

On this our Wedding Date
Saturday, August 4th, 2007

Your fiancée
Linda Jewell