I am sitting in the room with Carl, he has been changed out of his clothes he flew home in and is now resting. I pull up a chair and hold his hand and tearfully apologize. I am so sorry for not getting you to Port A, I softly say aloud.
I am in disbelief that after the sprint we have been through these last 50 or so days since my dad passed that here we are. Can it really be possible that the man I fell so deeply in love with is slipping away from me? How will I cope without him?
Memories start to pop in my head of first meeting him, and how crazy I was for him, and although that crazy feeling may have changed over the 26 years, my heart is breaking in a million pieces right this second. I know Carl would tell me I am a Rock and I can handle it. He is not really worried about me, I am almost sure of it. I am positive though that he just wasn’t ready to go.
My head softly rolls on the side of his bed as I hold his hand. If he could talk what would he say? I am positioned just to his left and he is gently kicking the sheets: he is uncomfortable. I stare around the room to see canary yellow walls, a big clock with a second hand and a
bench seat couch. They have placed some type of soft rolled cushion beside his bed, and a side table with 2 chairs.
There are no heart monitors, there are no doctors rushing around. We are in a hospice center where they help facilitate the passing of loved ones by making them comfortable.
The nurse walks in and as I turn to see her, she asks if I need anything. I am thinking, “how about my husband back?” But I nod my head and say no. I need a lot of things, like for tears to stop stinging my eyes, and hear Carl say “hey Babe” one more time. I need to know how will I live without him? I need so much, but right now this second, I need for him not to hurt or feel pain.
I excuse myself to go to the bathroom. I cross the hall and as I am sitting down my upper body collapses to my knees. I can feel the gravity of the situation hitting me. I stand up to wash my hands, look in the mirror and tell myself. ENOUGH. I have to pull it together. I need to be strong for everyone else. All eyes are on me.
I walk out and see the kids in the waiting room talking to some people. As I approach it is the chaplain and social worker asking about last rights. We actually did them in Denver with Carl when he was somewhat still conscious. But his sons were not there, so feel free to do them. At this point it is more for the living than the dead. But Carl was raised Catholic and I am sure he would appreciate it.
They turn and ask about a funeral home and I mention Porter Loring off McCullough. They just did my dad’s funeral there 62 days before.
This was just the first of the decisions to make.