Friday, April 27, 2007

Joe's Story

Tonight marks the three year anniversary of Joe's decline. Those of you who were readers last year, may remember that I wrote Joe's story out day by day. The purpose was for Joe's story never to be forgotten. I have decided to re post Joe's story, and hope that you will read it and comment on it. If you are a new reader, I would love for you to let me know that you are here. If you are an "old" reader, I would love for you to let me know that you are here. And if I know you personally, I would love your input on Joe's story. What was going through your mind each day that the story took place? Were you in my house during any of this time? How did you find out that he was sick? Who told you he died? I know that it was three years ago, but I would really love your participation in this one. So please, indulge me.
Love,
b
Three Years Ago Tonight*

Joe went out after work and had dinner at a local bar, along with two beers, and smoked a cigar. He then came home, watched TV with me, and went up to bed with me. I enjoyed his company in bed as much as a 7 month pregnant woman could.

Then he started complaining about a bump in his ear. I was annoyed, because he was often finding things wrong with himself. I mean he often felt sick in one way or another, so I was annoyed that he was feeling fine, but fretting over this bump in his ear. He even had me use a flashlight to examine said bump.

I pronounced it a zit, rolled over and went to sleep.

Little did we know that this was our last night together. That he had eaten his last meal, drank his last beers, smoked his last cigars, and had his final sexual act. If only we had known....

-b

*While the date this actually took place was April 30th, 2004, it was a Friday night. Because Joe's illness was so brief, I associate the days of the week more than the actual dates. My intention is to retell what happened each day up until his death.

10 comments:

Jess said...

I had just started reading your blog last year around this time. I remember your posts vividly and was reading and praying for you everyday during what is always such a difficult, unfair, sad time. I appreciate your openess to share your life and honesty helps me in my life. Reading your blog and the story of Joe has made an impact on my life. I often tell people about your blog and how inspirational you are as a mother and teacher. Joe and your family will never be forgotten in this house (even though we have never met :). Again, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

B
I will never forget Joe's story.
I remember you calling to say Joe wasn't feeling well and you were hoping it wasn't his Chrones acting up. I tried to talk you into it being some weird pain that would go away. He got steadily worse over the next few days. You took him to the hospital and called to see if I could watch Jacob on Monday (or Tuesday, I can't remember now). I absolutely thought he would be fine, no doubt in my mind. Within a few days he was so ill, the doctors still didn't know what it was. When I heard it was chicken pox, I was so relieved. I thought they could get rid of that, no problem. But he just got sicker and sicker. I remember when you called at 2am on Thursday morning, I thought the worst. You said the doctors were sending you in to say goodbye to Joe. I remember telling you that he would not leave you unless he absolutely had no choice, if he couldn't fight anymore. There was a glimmer of hope the next day when his oxygen levels went up after they turned him over. But at about 5:15 that evening I got the call from Mel that he was gone. I was utterly shocked, no way had this actually happened. I went over to the house on Friday to clean for the funeral. We all told stories of Joe while we were there. I recall J telling me not to cry in front of you, that we had to stay strong. The moment I saw you, when you got home from making the funeral plans, with your big baby belly and that shattered look on your face, I lost it. I still feel bad about that. I said to you "you have a lot of people who love you" and you still do...
KM

Anonymous said...

I don't remember anything about that Friday, not sure if I talked to you outside of school that day. (I'm sure you remember, you always do. :o)

I remember Saturday morning, however. We were at Gymboree and you told me about the bump. You were annoyed, and I didn't blame you in the least. You couldn't possibly have known... Mel

b said...

Jess,
Thanks for reading and commenting. It means a lot to me.

KM,
Thanks for sharing your story. I think it was silly for J to tell all of you not to let me see you cry. Don't ever feel bad for crying about Joe in front of me. I think it would have been stranger if no one else was crying!

Mel,
after school that Friday the baby brigade walked to the ice cream store. It was closed but there were people inside. I tried to make them let us in, but they refused. We ended up getting ice crem from the supermarket next door. I got a rainbow ice that had been sitting there for years and had freezer burn.

Anonymous said...

I remember that now. Your memory never ceases to amaze me. -Mel

Dawn said...

I've only started reading your blog. I'm very interested in hearing Joe's story.

I'm so very sorry for your loss, b.

Nat said...

I started reading your blog sometime in January 2006. I dont know if you were mentioning in any of your posts about why Joe died, but I knew from the title that you were a widow. I assumed it must have been because of a car accident or 9/11, since you did mention a widow group. I remember telling my husband about it, and how awful it must have been for you to loose your husband. I went away to visit my parents, and then got busy with life, the laptop broke, and so the next time I could read your blog was in MAy, after you had posted about Joe's death. I was almost 8 months pregnant at the time, and I remeber staying up late one night, reading your blog from the very beginning searching for the cause of Joe's death. I was hitting the posts randomly, and none of the post I read mentioned why, but I loved the way you wrote stuff, I was captivated about your life stories, and I kept reading. It was until the next day, that I read about the chicken pox. I thought: hang on, that cant be right? Must have been something else. And then I discover the story.
There was only that much crying I could do per day. I will honestly say I was so dehudrated, and my eyes were puffy, and ben was telling me to stop reading, or I will hurt myself. I dont think I ever cried this much for a person I ddint even know.

I ddint get to read the end of the story. I coudlnt. If It was this hard for me to read, I cant even imagine how hard it was for you to write, and I am not even tlaking about you going through all this.

A few months later, when Dani was a few weeks old, a friend died of cervical cancer. I remembered that I hadnt read the whole story, and I came bakc to read it. I wanted to just give you a hug and tell you that life goes on. That everything happens for a reason, and we all have a number of days on this earth, and that he is a better place.
I went back today to read the story, and here I am crying again.
B, there arent enough words to tell you how sorry I am for your loss.

b said...

Oh, Nat. Thank you. Not sure what else to say, but thank you.

Dawn,
I'm honored to have you read the story this time around.

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Oh, B. I am here reading still. I remember last year and my heart breaking for you, and reading it mine hurt too.

I am sorry this time of year is back.

Spring, it is supposed to be renewal, but for you, it's the harbinger of doom.

I think it's hardest when everything is coming to life to grieve and mourn a life lost.

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of grieving.

Anonymous said...

I got a new computer system a few months back and since then have been unable to post to your blog. (I was "in_the_clover)

I will try again now cuz I want you to know just how touching your recollection of Joe's last few days were when I read them last year.

I wish you much peace & happiness.