When I met Everett I was a 21 year old first grade teacher in San Diego. He was a sailor aboard a destroyer in the San Diego Harbor. Instantly, I loved his smile. By the time his ship left San Diego, I had agreed to answer his letters if he wrote to me.
Our relationship grew in the following year. Everett’s ship sailed for the Pacific and I moved to Sanger where I continued to teach. By this time our relationship had become serious. We married when he got out of the navy in 1955.
Everett was the sixth child in a family of seven children. His family moved often. He didn’t learn to read until he had a fourth grade teacher who realized he was bright but hadn’t learned to read. She worked with him after school and taught him to read. Like most children who struggle in school early, he developed a distorted perception about his ability to learn. He did well in high school and became an electronics technician in the navy. When he got out of the navy, he went to college to become an electrical engineer.
No matter how successful Everett became, he continued to believe that he was flawed and somehow inferior to others. He has many friends and a family who adore him but no amount of love can shake this deep-seated belief that he is somehow unlovable. The most disappointing thing about my marriage is that no matter how much I love him, I can never love him enough to make him see himself as loveable. He just shakes his head and says, “I know you love me and I am glad, but I don’t see why you do. I am a lucky man.” I wish my love could help him understand how loveable he is and why so many people find him easy to love.