How’s your memory? Can you pull up a memory on command? Do you have no trouble traipsing through the tulips of days of yore? What were you doing on the night of April 4, 2009? I may not remember a lot of things, but I remember that night.
I should back up. My memory actually starts two weeks before that night. I guess it could even start with the money disasters of 2008. It hit us hard, as it hit most people. We had to make changes if we were going to survive. We did what we thought we had to, the only choice we saw.
With no health insurance, we had to let things go, like medication. We knew what to expect, what to watch for, the side effects that would come. Little did we know….”I could write books on ‘little did he know’..” We started a journey that would end in a place we never would have chosen.
Two weeks turned into a lifetime. Two weeks changed everything. Two weeks and it was over. Just two weeks can make or break you.
April 3, 2009, was at the end of the two weeks. Friday: our ‘date’ was to a scuba shop. We were planning a trip to the place where the water was sooo cold. He was so hot. He had to cool down. He was literally melting. Losing pounds every day, just as we had anticipated, but he was so hot. It wasn’t much of a ‘date’, and I didn’t do the scuba thing, so I was a bit bored. Little did I know it would be our last date.
Saturday came, and he was still so hot. He just lay on the floor, sweating. Miserable. It was all expected. I felt helpless, tied down to commitments I had made to him. We couldn’t call a doctor, we didn’t have insurance or money. I promised. Time stood still. I should never be a nurse.
I caved. I called. He was taken to the hospital. It was fine they said. He’s dehydrated they said. Go home they said. Sunday morning, early. They called and asked if he had a living will. Not what you expect after doctors say ‘he’s fine’. I rushed to be there, to be bullied by doctors and asked to do things I could not do. What happened to time? Was it still? Was it rushing by? Did it end?
I remember this weekend. Endings. Beginnings. Reunions. It hurts to remember too much, but I’m afraid I’ll forget. A thin thread of memory, held like a feather from a web. It’s crushing to dive into that place again, wondering so many things.
Then I look around me. I see him everywhere. I see how he provided and planned. I see his influence. I see his face in my boys, oh how I see him. I hear his voice when they talk and laugh. I feel his pride when his kids do good things. He’s not here, but he is.
He never made it to the cold water. He left hot, burning bright, the way he lived.
Cause I said so.
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