I will state, for the record, that this post is going to cover some very personal material. Read on, if you wish to do so.
Today is the 12th anniversary of the very last day I spent with my wife; she died the next day on June 4th, 2005. When we first met, she was honest about her health issues. She had five, perhaps six years left to live, at the best. I married her, telling her that whatever time we might have would be enough.
In the almost six years we had together, her health went downhill steadily.
Her weight went from 180 pounds to almost 400. She had a heart attack. She lost part of the hearing in her left ear due to an ear infection. She became diabetic. She injured an ankle and had to have it surgically repaired. She injured it a second time, and it was twelve years ago today that she had a second surgery on that ankle.
She died while I was still at home. I got a phone call from the hospital at 9:30 in the morning telling me I should come to the hospital as soon as possible. Michelle died at 9:45, after a team of doctors and nurses spent forty-five minutes trying to save her life.
In the days and weeks after she died, two sets of thought took hold among those who knew her. Some of us truly believed she had no idea that she might die. Her parents and her oldest friend were in that group. Other people, including myself, were and still are convinced she knew she was going to die.
I can't say enough good things about the staff at Wilson Hospital in Johnson City, New York. They were all so helpful to me and the others who were there.
The very last words we exchanged were over the phone Friday night, twelve years ago today. I ended the call with these words:
"I love you.".