Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kind and Gentle Man

It is hard to believe that Tom is gone. Here one minute, reading , snacking, enjoying Florida, and yes of course wondering "what's for dinner".

His parting was quick, surprising, unprepared for and so sad. Done in by a fall. A dangerous step back and a turn of the foot. A loud cracking sound, a warning of what was coming. He was alert. Shaken a bit, but able to get himself up. An immediate trip to the ER for a check up and a CT scan. Exiting the ER feeling safe. Lucky once more. Beat another one! He commented that he felt like a cat with nine lives. We didn't realize this was number 9. We would only know that 45 minutes later.

The demise of a person can be as quick as a blink. That's what we did, blink and eat pizza. The last meal we would share. The terror of what was happening enveloped me. Me, the nurse, who can seldom keep a cool head when it involves those she loves. Somehow I was able to stop long enough to ask God to once again gather me in His palm. This was beyond me and I knew it. I prayed for peace and a calm mind so I could make the best decisions possible. God once again pulled through and I was able to see the reality of what faced us rather than the magical thinking of what might be if there could only be a miracle.

The Miracle came in that it was a quick and I think painless death. A Chaplin came and prayed and we gathered together to hold Tom in the love we had for him. Within a half hour he was gone. No more suffering. So quick. So unbelievably sudden. So unbelievable.

We have had a wonderful winter together. We had strengthened our friendships with neighbors and Michigan friends who winter here as well. We had a wonderful visit with Evelyn, Tom's precious girl. How he loved her! We sat poolside reading nearly every day. We had our incredibly long breakfast every morning. Enjoying the comfort of each others company mostly in silence. Reading the daily paper. Stretching out coffee, fruit, eggs and toast into a 2 to 3 hours of routine. We both loved our breakfast together.

A.T. Winterfield was a class act. He was a kind, quiet, ethical man. He brought so much joy to my life.
He taught me so much and helped me to grow in so many ways. The past few years have been difficult.
He has faced so many health challenges. Each new problem was examined, read about, and then embraced by him as part of life. The cards that were dealt. But always he found the things he could do to make it a little better. He was willing to try anything that could improve his quality, make him stronger. A quitter he was not.

So my beautiful man, whose smile lit up a room, I send you off. I release you to a better place. I'm sure you are near me unencumbered by a body that tried to hold you in place. I hope you are getting reacquainted with others who have loved you and left before you. But be aware that there are many of us here who are hurting, missing and grieving you. Stay a little close by, just for awhile. Let me feel your hand rest on mine while I drive. Keep me company when I feel alone.
You were never a big talker so maybe I can just look at your familiar chair and make believe you are in the kitchen looking for a "snack", leaving crumbs on the counter.

I love you very much and miss you so much already and you've only been gone a day.

Your wife, Kath

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Joyful Days

It's been such a strange season. I have been so absent from emails and my blog site. Did some reflecting about it a couple of days ago. I'm not sure I have an answer. It's been a good year, but a very different one. It seems my "work" this year has been on my physical self. Don't misunderstand, I haven't really done a magnificent transformation. But for over four months I have been disciplined enough to exercise on a regular basis. Now for those of you who know me well, you know this is huge. I am a woman of inertia, at least I used to be. In support of my husband Tom, I began going to the gym with him. The Neurologist we see in Florida made it very clear that it is mandatory that Tom keep moving. So, together we began this incredible journey. I have not seemed to loose any weight, but boy I feel good. I have managed to build muscles and tone up. I lift weights, do balance exercises, and ride a bike and use the treadmill. Average time at the gym is about an hour and a half 5-6 days a week. I'm off of all my anti-inflammatory medication. Even my back is greatly improved. We had a wonderful visit with our very own "Little Miss Sunshine". Lara, Brian and Evelyn were here for 8 days. As you can see, she is no longer a baby, but a pretty little girl. She will be three in July. She can converse with anyone and does! She is quite the little tease and jokester. I think it has rubbed off on her. You know how our family is, and her Dad is another story! We head back to Michigan in two weeks. I'm ready. Gonna start getting ready to leave a little every day. Not saving up until the end! Looking forward to seeing all of you. Miss you all. Until next time......Always, Kathleen
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