23 was supposed to be better

Grizzlyhackle

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2023 was going to be a good year.
Back in November I ran into a former coworker. She took my new phone number to pass on to my old boss. Very next day I got a call. She tells me she needs some help and would I be interested. Would I, place I was at is closing. Gas prices what they had been and still are. Riding 40 minutes instead of 10. I couldn't wait. Interview was on Thursday at 4:30, I had my old s-10 sweating the whole way. Like old times, easiest interview I ever had. I worked for the lady 28 yrs. She's 75, still sharp as a tack. Can't get around as well, too many customers and contracts for one person of any age. She's QA manager, son in law is the GM, good friend is the Engineering Manager. We all worked together before, got along well enough. They had to go through the motions with corporate, call me after Thanksgiving. Couple of calls and e-mails about salary and benefits. Finally December 9th I get the official offer with a start date of January 9th.
I couldn't wait to get to home. Bouncing around like a little kid waiting for my wife to get home at 8:30. She was so happy for me. I could come home and see her at lunch before she went to work. Off every Friday and the weekends. 4 days 10 hrs perfect. So many things I would have time to do. So much more time to do things together. New salary was a couple more dollars per hr. Less wear on my old truck, less wear on me.
Start date came and went everything's fine. Second week, that Friday I took her to lunch, drove her to work. Picked her up that evening. Had dinner made and waiting. Stayed up late watching movies on Net-flix.

Then Saturday she's not feeling so well. Sunday she's running a fever, called work stayed in bed most of the day. The coughing was pretty bad. I forced some Tylenol and cough medicine on her. Made her promise to see a Dr. on Monday. She went to the clinic instead of calling our Dr. They say she has acute bronchitis. Well thank God it's not Covid and with an antibiotic plus better cough medicine.....
Tuesday she sounds worse. Tuesday night I ask her several times about going to the ER. No dice, she's getting better, I'm a pain in the #$%@ she says. Wednesday morning she looks pretty rough but swears she feels better. My son and his wife live with us.
DIL calls me at work and proceeds to give me a different story. Dad you didn't hear her all night. She sat in the living room coughing. We could hear her upstairs. She had a fever because I checked her before I left for work. She needs to call her Dr. somethings not right.
Now I have to tell you we've been married 31 yrs and 9 mos. When she says no that's it. There is no winning, doesn't matter the problem right or wrong she's right.
I came home, now of course the fevers broke. She's taken a shower, had some soup, feels a little better. Hardly coughing, still a terrible sounding cough but not as often. She admits to feeling weak and agrees she needs to go back to the Dr. She'll go Thursday and would I please stop worrying.
Thursday, well I'm kinda tired she says. I don't feel like driving. You're off tomorrow you can take me on Friday.
Thursday night to me she's acting funny. I kept asking her are you feeling alright. She swears she's fine. I'm watching her and she keeps pulling at her night gown. I'm just bored she tells me. I made her eat some soup and crackers. She wants to watch a western "Broken Trail" now I know she's off her rocker cuz my wife does not like horse operas. But she seems in good spirits, no fever and the coughing has subsided. We both fell asleep in the living room. About 1:30 a.m. I woke up, she's awake wants some Dr Pepper and a Tylenol. Tells me to go to bed and she'll be along in a bit.
I woke up at quarter to 5 needing to go so I head out and realize she's not in bed. Lights on in the living room dang it she's still up.
I will never fully understand what happened. I will never understand or be able to forget what I found.
My wife is lying in the floor. Our little dog is lying beside her. Dogs can have the oddest expressions at times but I'd swear he knew she was gone. I tried, screamed for the kids and tried waking her up again. In my mind I know she's gone but the 911 operator says start compressions. I tried, my DIL tried. The ambulance crew worked on her a long time. Finally they stopped. Pronounced her at 5:45. The state police showed up sometime during all this. Some point somebody said there was no reason for autopsy.
Ambulance left, young woman trooper showed up and the fellas left. She was a sweetheart. I couldn't come back in the house. I'm not afraid or any thing I just couldn't stand the thought of seeing her laying there anymore. Young lady stood beside me the whole time. I kinda fell apart when the morticians came. My wife was partly undressed and I figured she'd had an accident and was trying to get changed when she fell out. I got kind of hysterical thinking she was going to be brought out like that and that young trooper took me by the hand and calmly talked to me and got me settled down again.
Best I can get for an answer was congestive heart failure. I've beat myself up alot for not forcing her to go the Dr or the ER sooner. Both her brothers tell me to stop it's not my fault. It's easier to say it than believe it. Her sister Bertha Better Than You, nursery attendant at the better than your Baptist church, well all she's worried about are Moms pearls and the 2 diamond rings. Well the pearls have been found. The 2 diamonds, well I just can't seem to find them. Maybe if she had come begging after my darling had been cremated I could or maybe told her who I gave them to and why. But no I haven't seen them. She even had to tell me her pastor would have been a better choice. Not my ordained neighbor of 24 yrs who stood with me in the front yard praying with me and crying. Him and his wife have checked on me everyday, handed me an envelope with 100$ in it the morning she died. Their son drove down from PA just to come and take me and my son out to lunch and to talk about my wife and how much he's going to miss her. The eulogy he gave was all about bruised knees, snowballs thrown, trips to Ocean City, how she caught all the big flounder, how much he and his family would miss their good friend and neighbor. Bertha's 2 darling children have never called, couldn't be bothered to come to the service. Bertha's boy ,who was thrown out of the house and lived with us for 6 mos, you would think would have at least called. She's going home to to Jesus while the rest of us are going to straight to the devil.

Funeral home, insurance companies, social security, state of Md. Death is a racket. 20$ for a death certificate,22$ for each additional certificate. Hundreds of dollars to transport her from the funeral to the crematory. I swear to God almighty, it's across the parking lot, not even 50 yards. Mutual of Omaha, God bless them. Not the least bit of problem. While on the phone the lady looked up the funeral home, read the obituary, offered her condolences and said the check will be in the mail this week and if there's anything else please call. It's already been put in the bank. I'm shocked. Another company I've had to get notarized paperwork and send a certified death certificate.
Md. I need a financial institution to fill out and notarize paperwork to get her pension.
Social security, call to make an appt to have a phone call. Theres an office in town. No you shall call, be put on hold for 47 minutes, grilled by some bozo who took enough information to write a short novel only to make an appointment for a phone call. It's just the death benefit. Really.
I miss my wife. 10 years from now I could wrap my mind around this and be OK. She was 60. The only real friend I could count on. My fishing buddy. Who's gonna filet the flounder. Who's going to tell me it's time to come in honey the sun's cooking you the garden can wait. I held the rabbits she trimmed the nails. Who's going to give me h377 when I forget to take my pills, leave the gate open and the dogs loose. Just one more trip down the skyline drive, go to the safari park in Lexington. Last time a bison stuck it's head in the window of my Cherokee and grabbed the food bucket out of her lap. I don't know which of us screamed first or laughed the loudest.
Thank God the boys here, his wife has kept me straight, made sure I had matching shoes and house keys when I left the house. Getting me straight with the bills. I haven't written a check since 94.
Works been great. I missed the first week cuz of her the second week because I got pneumonia.
September 20,1962 -January 23,2023 I thought I would go first. Hurt me so bad to watch her cry when they said I had a heart attack and I needed a stent. She was so afraid of being like her Mom and Grandmother. They both had long term conditions and nursing home time. She got her wish I guess. I'm so mad at her for leaving me. Mad at myself .
Oh well like I said 23 was supposed to be better.
 

Baymule

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I’m so sorry. Having the love of your life wrenched away truly is devastating. The anger will leave you, the sadness will stick around. I can tell you, a year and a half later, I can smile at the memories without ripping open a raw wound.

Something that helps me, every day I thank God for my Blessings. I use the attitude of gratitude and it sure helps lift my spirits. I list them, the 25 years of happiness, the good times, my family, friends, the beautiful sunshine, life giving rain, birds, trees, grass, you get the idea.

You are Blessed with your job. God was looking out for you. He knew you were going to need it, surrounded by good people who love you. Use your drive time to work to pray the attitude of gratitude. It may be hard at first. Try it, it will help as you adjust to life without the love of your life. It’s hard enough, floundering around with no sense of direction, but this will help you pick up the pieces of your life and see the goodness and beauty around you.

Just know that we have your back. We are here to listen, you can rant, rage, laugh, cry. We are here for you.
 

canesisters

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I am SO very sorry that you and your family are going through this. Your life takes a studder-stumble when someone so close is suddenly gone. I know there is nothing that can be said that will make you feel any better or even ease your pain right now. But like @Baymule said, we can offer hope that it WILL become less sharp in time and the memories will eventually make you smile instead of cry.
 

Grizzlyhackle

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My thanks to all of you for your good and kind words.
Feels like early spring out today. As I pulled in the driveway a Robin was chirping away. My Dil is off today and she's made chocolate chip cookies using my wife's recipe. So soft and gooey with extra chips.
Son just got home and the house is noisy and feels almost right.
It's the empty that comes later that I dread. The quiet hours when the silence is so loud.
 

Ridgetop

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Terrible news! Such a shock and she was so young. Just when you got the new job and would be home with each other more this happens. I know where that stubborn woman was coming from though - If you need the doctor, you are too sick and tired to go, when you feel a bit better you figure why bother. We are all like that. This was not your fault. Your children will help you through this. Block Bertha's calls on the phone - you don't need her garbage. We are praying for you.
:hugs :hugs :hugs :hugs :hit:hit:hit:love:love:love
 
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