She said she couldn't face changing the sheets for the first three months after her husband died. She was clinging to him the only way she could thru the faint smell of him in the sheets. I asked how come she finally changed the sheets. She said sadly, "My granddaughter spit up on them one morning and I knew it was time."
They were are their 35th high school reunion at the Friday nite dinner and dance. She said it was simply the best time ever. She and her husband were dancing and talking, she was very happy. The last song was about to be played and her husband asked if they could sit down. A few second later, he fell to the floor in the midst of a massive coronary and never came to. The ambulance arrived promptly, rushed him to the hospital but he was dead on arrival.
She found out later, he'd seen the cardiologist recently; he was in his very early 50s. Oh was she mad when she found out. Simultaneously crying and cursing him for not letting her know there might be something wrong. She wasn't one of those who didn't want to know about upcoming challenges; she was one of those who wanted to face them head on and her husband never gave her that option. She lectured me as she would have lectured her husband if he'd been there. She looked me in the eye and told me I'd better never do that to my wife. I promised her I wouldn't.
I had come to know her because two years previously, her teenage son died of unexpected heart failure. That' was crushing. Two weeks before he died, he had passed out in the shower. He wasn't a kid who did drugs, did stupid things. They of course had taken him to the doctor who ran him thru all the normal tests. But then he died one day at home. The autopsy said heart disease.
Well I've long since lost track of her and her remaining children. She kept going to church, took over the bills, made all the decisions, fixed the house up; she coped. I was staggered by her strength in the face of crushing adversity. Luckily, her husband had not only been a fine man but a good worker with a company who had a good retirement program. She'd be okay for many years to come if "ok" simply means you have money to pay the bills. But she'd also be "ok" because she and her husband had a strong marriage and he had given her 30 plus years of love. I met him once a year before he died. He was one of those good guys. Worked hard, cared about his wife, cared about his children and served his God.
My lingering prayers are that her other children are doing well (they'd be young adults now) and that she has peace and has friends. If time heals all wounds, I think she's okay.