It’s been over a month now since the hospital called saying simply, “Sir, you need to come to the emergency room. Now.” Nothing more.
The lady said it twice. I got the message.
We had had no warning that my wife Margaret’s death was imminent. We had welcomed family in over the Christmas holidays and Margaret had been doing pool therapy at the rehab hospital. She wanted to be more independent and was driving herself from time to time. Twice recently she had said, “It’s time for you to buy another car and give me this one.”
“This one” was the Honda CR-V which, because it’s built a little higher off the ground than the Camrys we’ve driven for years, was easier for her to maneuver. A year or more ago, we had given our other car to our local granddaughters. Margaret was putting 5 miles a month, at most, on it and Abby and Erin needed transportation. When we began looking for cars, Margaret picked out this Honda with the understanding it was her car. I smile at that. “Her car.” To date, at 2 years 4 months old, the odometer shows over 72,000 miles, almost all put there by her preacher husband going hither and yon in the Lord’s work. Still, she knew it was hers.
Life changes abruptly. Your “other half”–boy, is that ever right!–is suddenly taken from you. From the moment she coughed a couple of times and collapsed in the nail salon, then was whisked to the hospital a couple of miles away, until all life-support apparatus was removed and she took her last breath, was six days. The death certificate lists January 29, 2015 as “the” day.
One I will never ever forget, I’ll tell you that. If that is not the worst day of my life, then the previous Friday–January 23–when this happened, was.
“So, how are you feeling?” Or, “How are you doing?”