It has been a year since the love of my life passed away.
October 10 was the worst day of my life. That is the day Pat had had enough. Her body had battled as much as it could. Ovarian Cancer won the fight.
Now, after a full year, we are supposed to remember this date. Anniversaries are wonderful celebrations. Death Anniversaries are awful. A horrible memory of losing your loved one. She is no longer in constant pain, that is the only thing we can be grateful for.
There were so many lovely memories of Pat for me and also for all of her many friends and family. These are the things we should remember and smile about every time we think of Pat. How much she loved her friends, co-workers and family. How, even in her months at the hospital and rehab facility, she loved her visits with her best friends. She always kept hope that if this could get better, maybe we could start another chemo treatment. It was not to be.
Our trips to San Francisco, Monterey, Las Vegas and Scottsdale. Our driving trips to Niagara Falls, Boston, Nashville and Wisconsin Dells, after Pat wasn't healthy enough to fly.
I remember how Pat took such pride in always having the house decorated for the holidays. Even when she was struggling with her illness, she made sure the house was always in a festive mood, which would make her happy.
Over the last year, I have shared many moments that Pat and I shared. Just a day before she passed, as she was on an awful machine called a Bipap which helped her breathe and also helped her release carbon dioxide, which her body had stopped doing, she got my attention.
She pointed to her eye, I said, I. She pointed to her heart, I said love. Then she pointed to me. She was unable to talk with me, but let me know in that moment how much she loved me. Looking back on it, that was all I needed. She knew the end was near.
The last twelve months have been an experience I would wish on no one, but unfortunately, many more will need to go through it. Before marriage in the Catholic religion, you go through Pre-Cana, where you discuss things that will likely come up in the early years of married life. Somewhere along the line, someone should tell us to prepare for someday, maybe being alone. Unless you and your loved one pass at the same time, one of you will be forced to go on by yourself. It is a terrible thing that we are never really prepared for.
Moving forward is the phrase that we try to use after the loss of a loved one. It is one of the most difficult things any one person can do. You are by yourself, no matter how many friends and family try their best to console you and help you through your suffering.
I have tried moving forward and feel I am doing an okay job. Other than a recent bout with the Corona-virus, I have tried to stay in touch with friends, make new friends and even have enjoyed myself with many new beer friends and breweries.
I have even found a special someone recently. We have re-connected after forty years and it seems to be a good thing for both of us.
As this October 10 comes and goes, I would just ask for all those who knew and loved Pat, (usually if you knew her, you loved her), to look to the skies and let her know she'll always be with you.