This is going to be pretty raw but if I don't just dump it out I can't actually get it out. Etiquette would suggest a cut tag here but I don't recall how to do them and don't want to relearn right now. I'm sorry if all the first names are confusing that's how I had to write it.
Dear partner Reen
I'll miss you a lot. We haven't spent so much time
interacting the way we used to recently. There were
the rides to and from workeach day and "buffy night" every or nearly every Sunday evening and a few minutes here and there when you came up to talk about something or I stopped down but you have been a huge part of my life since college. That would be more than 30 years now.
All the rich tapestry of a life lived together where with a random word we both knew what events we were referring to and why our thoughts had lept there together.There are other people who've shared my life where I have these things, I've been blessed with more than the usual allotment of people. But losing one really hurts.
I feel I let you down at the end here. You had so many health problems and I became exhausted. At a younger age I would have taken time off work to take you to the colonscopy last week that hurt you so much. I wouldn't have been in the room but I know about your enormous tolerance for pain drugs and maybe if I was there to ask I could have done something to make that easier.
Aliera took you to Mystic afterwards and you said you felt the world owed you something after that and you were so pleased when it delivered. You won 200 off of a 5$ start and you were so happy that you didn't need to get your weekly money from me.
The GI group gave you a 5$ coupon for the hospital cafeteria. You said it was becaus they were sorry
about how bad your experience was. You got a fruit and yogurt parfait that you thought I would like and I did.
You did not feel well over the weekend your bowels hadn't restarted and you had stomach pains and fever and chills. You were seeing the doctor anyway on Monday so after an abbreviated Buffy (actually angel at the moment I still can't find my season 6 box) you went to bed Sunday.
Monday you took Eileen and I to work. I can't remember what political outrage or family and house trivia we talked on the way in. You got yourself to the doctor though you felt terrible. He told that there was no cancer in the polyps they'd removed and that he thought the ulcers in your colon where they'd scraped out the diseased flesh would heal up on their own but that you could no longer take ibuprofen. He had no suggestion other than tylenol for a replacement so how you were going to manage your knee and neck was a mystery. He also told you that you had bronchitis on top of your long standing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
You collapsed in his office and they put you on oxygen for awhile and offered to admit you but you hated hospitals. You didn't feel up to waiting in line for your presciptions so you came home. By the time Eileen and I got home the window at HCMC was closed. Eileen picked those up for you on Tuesday. Your GI tract did restart though it was diarhea.
I checked in with you each evening but you were too sick to want to sit up and talk much. Frank had arranged for cable and got an extra box so you could have that and you were very pleased about that. The tv constantly on to something that was very important to you.
Wednesday evening about 6:30 was the last time I saw you. You struggled up to sitting and I asked if there was anything I could get you. You said no. I said I'd talk to Toni about getting a ride the next morning so you didn't have to worry about that. You said that was a relief. I patted you and went upstairs and got on my computer game.
Frank came in about an hour later when he came home from work and you were much the same. Mark heard you groaning around 10 and came in and helped you take your meds.
Toni got up and took Eileen and me into work. You were already dead but we didn't know it yet.
We don't know exactly what killed you yet. The ME is doing an autopsy. I hope there wasn't too much pain and fear at the end. I would have held you if I could though whether touch was comforting or a burden varied so much with you.
You talked about seeing a golden light when your father died and when we had to put Buddy down you said you had a vision of him leaping into your father's arms as he died.I hope that is what death was like for you.
Corwin found your body around Noon.
I was just a couple calls into the second half of my morning having just had my coffee when I got a message from Toni that I must call. From her voice I knew it was bad. My first thoughts were "either she's wrecked the car or Reen's dead". I called her back and she didn't want to tell what the problem just wanted me to come I made her tell me you had died.
I told work I had a death at home and had leave. I went over to Eileen asked her to mute her call and
told her. She said she'd come down after the call. So I went downstairs to wait. Corwin and Toni came in the car with your dogs. I drove the four of us home. Nobody official had been called yet.
I went up and saw your body. I'm glad I did. It's the closest I could come to being with you at the end.
You were stone cold so you'd been dead for hours. Your head was back a little and your mouth open. I think you couldn't get enough air. You'd talked about how you had tricks with your stomach muscles to clear your lungs and that the pain from the colonoscopy was interfering with that.
I wish I'd focused more on the trouble you were having these last few days. But you never know what you'd actually change by doing something different. Unless the ME says you had a heart attack I expect we could have gotten through this crisis. But your health was so bad and declining. You were in so much pain all the time and depressed and feeling that you were a burden. I'm sure that you were mostly glad to go.
I know that you prefer this to a long drawn out hospital death.
I called 911. The policeman showed up. Aliera came up with me to talk to him. He took information called the ME and waited with the body.
The rest of us gathered on the first floor. Steven showed up. He had been a half hour south of
town driving in for John Shogren's wedding when Toni called him with the news. I think you timed this about perfectly Reen.
When Carolyn came in her first words were "How did you get here so fast" to Steven (Pamela would later echo her. Since the two of you are still technically married it was Steven's signature that they needed. I felt a little odd about that since you were my responsibility but whatever. We joked with him about "well here are dogs and here's your stuff". Legally it's not a joke but none of us care. Steven was surprised how much this affected him.
All the kids are hit hard by this. That was always going to be the case no matter when this came. They are old enough though that it's safe for you to go. They aren't in the position your mom left you in when she died. You know I'll make sure they're ok. I don't think I'm going to say much about their
reactions as they are all perfectly capable of writing about it if they want them immortalized.
I know that you always expected to die in you forties like your mother so these last years have been gravy. You got to see two grandchildren born and one acquired and that was your greatest joy. Miko and Meridel don't really understand what's happening. I'm sure there are bits of who they and Anika become that are becaus of you (over and above you making Corwin) but they are too young to retain any real memories of you actually anika isn't
Jason says that for now he will take care of seeing that the dogs get food and water and get outside. I know you worry about them since unlike the people they were totally dependent on you. Ginger may know what's happened since she went through it with Tamarra but Missy is just worried and wants to sit in my lap constantly.
Steven called the cremation society and told them to expect your body. The ME will deliver it to them. I was going up to get your ssn when he asked me what to tell them for occupation. I said homemaker but then I ran back down stairs and told him to change that to Mystic or Shaman (shaman is definitely better) I don't know if he actually did.
Everybody from the house and family gathered on the first floor. Eric had to leave for work but he was
able to get out early. Frank was more broken up than I was expecting. It was good to have Mark and John. I know that you both really liked and were really amused to have the foursome back together here at the end.
I had my worst breakdown when I called my parents. Switching roles opened up the flood gates for a moment.
I was worried that we would have trouble notifying your brother Will but Lynette his daughter is online and immediately contacted us and told him. I haven't spoken with him and I don't know how much he will want to be involved. Carolyn says she has Aunt Eileen's address and will write to her. Of the god parents I still need to let Sysliene and Cindy know. I'll be able to track Sysliene down but I'm not how to find Cindy. Oh god I didn't call Bev. I'm sure she heard through the grape vine but I need to make sure.
I am very grateful for the people who spontaneously came over during the day/evening. Lots of people from the kids circles who I don't neccarily know so I won't try to name. DD-B, Pam, Lydy, Karen, Bruce, Barb, Nate, Thorin, Jillian, Mike. I dithered about putting any names since I don't want anyone to feel bad if they weren't mentioned but oh well.
We told old stories and shared memories and sang songs. Mostly your favorites and the car songs. Sugar Magnolia was the other time I really cried hard.
Today I woke up and brought Eileen into work. Then I sat down to write this. I've been crying pretty much non stop since I woke up. It's not that I can't stop it's just that to stop I'd have to change my mental stance and why should I? This is the time for this.
I think I'll have to wait to write another one of these letters about who you were and what you were like. But I'll mention a recent accomplishment becausI always have trouble writing so the next thing may not happen.
Our objecting to our property evaluation this year led to the city paying extra attention to us and the fire department scheduled an inspection. When they showed up you were the one who met them and explained that we really only rented out the first floor as a unit that this wasn't truly a four-plex even though it legally was. And they went away becaus they don't do inspections when there are less than 4 units. You were always so good at dealing with officials as people in your own idiosyncatic way (it worked better if I wasn't there it was so different from what I'd do that I couldn't stand to watch) and that's a real loss it was part of how you were still carrying your weight.
Carolyn called about 45 minutes ago and I told her I needed another hour alone but then I'd take her out somewhere so I should draw this to close.I wrote this as a letter to you becaus putting me more in touch with my emotions was always something you did and right now I want to connect with that as much as I
can. It was a big part of all our all night conversations back in the day. I'd lost my patience to have those and I'm sorry. If you want to do that again I think it should be at perkins. My joints
won't take sitting under the bridge in the arb. Though John Mark and I might make a trip down there to
I remember once in the middle of a trip feeling myself float up toward heaven and wanting you to be with me but feeling you slip away as I ascended. This is all turned around.You'll always be with me since I have 30 years of memories to chat with. But they will get blurry around the edges and they never ever will surprise me. They won't make an unexpected little treat or go out to store for something.
I'm going down to the kids now.
Thank god I have Eileen, thank god I have family and
friends. But god I'll miss you Reen.