Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ONE: Part I

One year ago I had been down in Santa Monica with Dad, helping him with another round of chemo. I had left Bitty in the very capable hands of Stacie, despite Bitty's recent bout with pneumonia. Dad and I arrived safely home. And the next day I too came down with an awful case of pneumonia. I was literally bed ridden for a week.
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One year ago on Easter I was on the mend, but still pretty sick, and really tired. Stacie drove the kids out to Gramma's to spend the day with Gramma and Grampie and James. I just wasn't up for it. When Stace returned she said James was sad I wasn't there. Later that night James called and said the kids were ready to come home. I said I'd send Stace. He said he'd really like to see me if I felt up to it. I told him I didn't. Just as Stace was about to leave, I had a change of heart. I slipped on my slippers and drove up there. It was good to see him. He looked healthy, and there was light behind his eyes, something I'd longed to see for a very long time. He always gave the best hugs,and kissed me on the forehead. It was starting to rain and so we shuffled the kids into the car, hugged and kissed once more, held a gaze, and off I went.
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One year ago today, was my first day back to work after being in Santa Monica with Daddy, and then getting pneumonia. It was a Tuesday. I dropped the girls off with Gramma in the morning (it was spring break) and they had a full day planned with Gramma and Alicia and James and would be heading off to the aquarium soon. Kissed the babies. James wasn't up yet, and went on my way.
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I was glad to get back to work and do something tangible, and that had immediate recognition and progress. I was grateful to be feeling better,and grateful to have a job and little pep in my step. I'd been in meetings all morning, and was finally back in my office, when the front desk clerk (who I wasn't particularly fond of) came to my office and said there was a fireman there looking for me, she thought. There was some confusion in my last name. At first I was excited, because I have a friend from high school (a fire man) whose mom works upstairs. He must have been home from Texas. He was always good for a practical joke (acting like he was an enraged patient and demanding to speak with me,etc... and then ending up in a giant bear hug.) I walked with her to the front of the building, and didn't see anyone. I looked around, and then she pointed out the front door to the parking lot. And there was a fire truck. And obviously not from Texas.
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A fireman in his dress blues was leaning in the truck, actually it was a command vehicle. When he turned I could see it was Chief Kevin. That was odd. But I had known Kevin for years, and really liked him, and James was so glad when Kevin was named the Fire Chief. I honestly thought "oh how nice of Kevin to drop by and visit. I haven't seen him in a while."
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I walked outside (again with a little pep in my step from feeling better and now from being visited by a friend.) He said he had some bad news. I was speechless; I didn't know what else could go wrong in my life, and didn't think for a second it would be this. He said "James passed away this morning." I was so confused. My James? I was in shock. Like in slow motion I turned and looked behind me, and through the glass windows of my building were all (20+?)of my co-workers standing, staring, gawking. I looked back at Kevin and said 'what?'....... .

'I'm so sorry Meg."

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3 comments:

Joannah said...

A horrible shock, I'm sure. :( I felt that way the day we first heard the "C" word. Completely unexpected and horrifying.

((hugs))

KER said...

"anniversaries" are hard..you are all in my prayers...take care...be safe/be well

Sam Crozier said...

Biggest cuddle, you are doing amazing and Im sure he is so proud of you