Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dear Rick,

Three years ago today I worked. On the way home, I picked up supper from our favorite Chinese take out place. You couldn't eat. You seemed to be getting an upper respiratory infection. The steroids can mask infection. The radiation can affect the throat. You were coughing. During the night your cough changed. By morning on the 23rd, the way you coughed seemed like you might have pneumonia. Your lungs sounded like it too when I listened to them. I finally convinced you to go to the Dr. What I really wanted was for you to go to the hospital. I was afraid for you. Pneumonia can be difficult in a healthy person much less someone immune compromised with cancer treatment. At this point, I wasn't afraid for your life yet. As Saturday wore on, Debbie visited. you made me leave you and go see Henry Ray and pay off your burial plot. you were so weak when I got back you couldn't walk. you still wouldn't go to the ER. You were so short of breath. I put oxygen on you. it didn't help much. Finally, after my tank was nearly empty, you agreed to go to the ER. I still thought pneumonia. When the paramedics got here your oxygen level was so low. Even though we'd had oxygen on you for a while. They turned it up. They ran lights and siren. I still wasn't afraid for your life though. That would come on Sunday morning when Dr. Z showed me your chest X-ray. ARDS. Obviously it would be a long uphill battle. Then the blood clots in your legs were found. We had no clue they were there. Little pieces would go to your lungs even with the filter and blood thinners.

You fought hard to stay. Blood clots to your lungs stole your breath day after day. I wished it would have been just pneumonia. God said enough one day and He took you home. I don't doubt that one bit. And I am grateful that I know that- I don't think I could have stood it had I not known. And I still miss you today. You told me not to. I can't help it.

You told me to move on. That's harder than you told me it would be. We used to joke about it. Before the tumor. About if I went first or if you went first. It's OK though. Death is part of life. The nurse part of me knows that. The wife part of me did too but in a different way. Its something half of us will face. I am trying. It helps to write.

Three years ago tomorrow you left our home in an ambulance for the last time. Bandit looked for you for months. I think he still does sometimes. He got depressed for quite a while.

I love you and miss you. I dream about you still. Some days when it's very quiet, I hear you shuffle through the house or drop the remote as only you can do. I don't know if this is normal or not. It's my normal. I am ok. I am. I am waiting for the easier part they tell me time will create. I guess time will tell.


1 comment:

  1. I love the last picture, such a cute couple you were.
    I think it is very normal to still miss Rick the way you do. It says volumes about your relationship.
    I remember after my Mom died how sounds in the house would, for a moment, make me think she was there.