EDMOND, Okla. - Deceased Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb's wife spoke about her loss, and casting her ballot in the primary election Tuesday.
Both Charles and Cheri Lamb were looking forward to what they hoped would be his fourth and final term as mayor in 2019. But less than a week after he filed for the election in December, Lamb suddenly passed away.
It was too late to remove Lamb from the ballot, and on Tuesday, he got 33% of the vote, so his name will move on to the general election ballot in April. In the event he's elected, city council will appoint a mayor.
It's a unique situation, whose strangeness has garnered attention from all over. But for Cheri, the past couple months have been filled with little more than heartbreak.
"There are still times when I walk in the door and call his name," she said, "and then I realize he`s not there."
The two have been together for most of her life, married just two and a half months after they met. They celebrated their 45th anniversary the Saturday before he died.
"We were just laughing that we didn't think we could make another 45, we thought we could at least make another 25," Cheri said, "but I guess God didn't see it that way."
He was the kindest man she ever met, playful at home, especially with his beloved grandchildren. But in office, he was a serious and devoted public servant, and at 72-years-old, he was determined he wasn't finished yet.
"This is something he wanted really bad, and he was so excited the day he filed," Cheri said. "I said, 'Are you sure you want to do it again?' and he goes, 'Yeah, I think I want to do it one more time.' He said, I just really still have the fire.' I said, 'Ok, then go for it.'"
After he died, she knew his name would still be on the ballot, but she said she really couldn't give it very much thought. Just four days after Charles died, so did Cheri's father. Since then, she's been moving her mother back to Tulsa, taking care of two estates, and keeping busy at work. A time to grieve still hasn't arrived.
Taking over his role in small ways, like making trips to the post office, or returning to places they attended together, trigger new feelings of loss for her daily. Tuesday's election wasn't any different, another aching reminder.
"It was very painful yesterday to see his name on the ballot but not in the book," Cheri said. "It was hard to sign my name because he was always ahead of me. But I voted."
She proudly voted for her husband, along with about 2,000 others. She plans to vote for him again one last time in the April 2 general election.
"Our family will support him, just like he was still here. Our friends will support him like he`s still here, and we`ll vote for him," Cheri said. "What the city of Edmond does after that, that`s up to them, and they have to do what`s best for the city."
No matter what the outcome is, she wants his legacy to be remembered.
"He had that servant's heart that he wanted to give back, and he wanted to do good things," Cheri said. "He was such a sweet, sweet man."