The 16th day of January was the 10th anniversary of “Little Miss Martha’s” leaving this earth for her eternal home. That happened to come on Wednesday of this week that I am writing this column. It could have happened yesterday as my memory has not failed me in these past years as I recall that dreaded morning.
I called Milo, the coroner, and informed him that she had passed. It was slightly after one in the morning. I sat on the side of the bed looking at my life’s partner and rubbing her already cold arm and her half closed eyes removed any doubt that she had left me to face a new “normal” that lay ahead. Milo and his partner put her in a body bag and wheeled her out into the cold night as I stood watch with a cup of coffee in my hand not knowing what to do let alone what to say.
Gentle readers, when Martha was still able to speak I heard her on the phone beside our bed. She was telling a family member, one by marriage, that she loved them and wished them well. It broke my heart because I knew this person had never called her once, never sent a card and never visited her in the hospital when she lived close by. “I can’t believe that you did that,” I said to her in a soft voice. “After all she never even called to see how you were.”
“I couldn’t leave without telling her that I loved her and that I wanted her to have a good life,” she whispered back to me.
She also called another family member, another by marriage, that hadn’t bothered to reach out to her in her desperate struggle to stay alive. It was then that it really hit me what a gracious, brave, caring and forgiving woman that I had been married to for so long. It ate at me that I had not taken the time in all of our years to recognize what a beautiful spirit this woman had. Now it was too late as the hearse pulled away. I didn’t take the time to express how proud I was of her and how much she had really meant to me during our last moments together.
She was sick and confused towards the end. I was struggling with my own cancer and trying to keep her as comfortable as possible and not functioning as well as I would have liked. We had just sent her mother back to Texas to be buried beside her husband as she had passed from her battle with cancer. It was like living in a fog and it was about to get worse as I struggled to make the funeral arrangements and notify all the family.
The two above mentioned folks were there at her funeral and they cried like I don’t think they had ever cried before. Just in the past few months did one of them apologize for not making themselves available to give some of their time to comfort my darling. It appears that that type of trauma was more than they knew how to deal with and they didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I say excuses satisfy only those who make them. Just the same all is forgiven.
I had the privilege and I was blessed to have had this woman beside me through thick and thin all those years. There was lots of thin!
It’s not too late children to tell your mom, dad, friend, child, spouse, or that special person in your life what they mean to you. I guarantee you both of you will feel better.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c y’all, all y’all. ❖