My Connie
by Pradeep K. Berry

"We immediately knew on our first meeting that we were in love, and there was no need to have a second meeting."

Author and finance consultant Berry lost his wife, Connie, to cancer in 2015. As a young man, he turned his back on professional opportunities in his native India to travel to the US seeking better prospects. But as soon as he arrived, he began to have misgivings, feeling unbearably lonely. Fortuitously, he found employment almost immediately, met Constance Ann Fuller, fell in love, and married her soon after. They were a faithful, happy couple for 42 years. In 2002, she was diagnosed with cancer; in 2005, he left his employment to spend more time with her. Ten years later, he was with her when she passed away. Though he expresses bitterness toward family members who offered no help or care, and toward doctors who, he believes, didn’t do all they could have for his beloved wife, his book is in the main a praise-filled, sorrowful recollection of his life with Connie.

Though the author disavows any special writing ability, his book, though at times repetitive, shows caring and courage. He is obviously a man profoundly bereaved who has so far been unable to rebuild a life alone. He quotes from many sources to support his feelings about Connie: Indian thinkers Gandhi and Chanayka and Westerners Einstein and Ruskin. He lists small items that still remind him of Connie such as her clothing, diary, and make-up kit. He speaks of reluctance to use the shower they had made for her when she became an invalid. Yet he can’t give these things up, or stop the flow of memories they evoke. Some readers may see his story as obsessively morbid, while others might wonder how they would react in similar circumstances. A paean to lost love, Berry’s book invites a sequel, which the author has hinted at, and perhaps to be written when some healing has taken place.

Return to USR Home