By Lorry Myers
I started this year, like I do each year, with a heart full of hope and optimism. Then, the world turned crazy and the rules changed and we changed with them. My husband and I limited our travel, we adjusted our plans and we spent more time together while we distanced apart. Often, we just simply sat and talked about things we rarely talk about.
There was a reason for that.
Early in the year, Randy was diagnosed with a cancer that they never could quite pinpoint. I waited in waiting rooms, fought for a second opinion and trusted in the treatment plan that was finally put in place. Before the radiation and chemo began, we attended our granddaughter’s first birthday party and learned that a new grandbaby was on the way.
Cancer didn’t stand a chance.
We spent Thanksgiving alone and took every precaution but a few days before his last treatment, Randy grew weaker, his appetite waned and he was sleeping more and more. His last day at the cancer center, I needed a wheelchair to get him inside and both of us were relieved that this day had finally come.
After ringing the bell to mark the end of radiation, Randy was hospitalized and very quickly a Covid-19 test came back positive. I stayed while the hospital scrambled to find him a room. I stayed while the doctors talked to me in quiet tones, I stayed until they kicked me out. Even though I knew I couldn’t, I begged to stay. I didn’t want to leave my husband; I didn’t want to say goodbye.
Eleven days later, Randy was gone.
I started this year as a daughter, a mother, a friend, a co-worker and a community member. With all the meager things I am, there was one thing I never thought I would be.
My future faded that night in a hospital ICU. In the dark days that followed, when I struggled to find my way, you dear readers, found me. One after another, emails with kind words of comfort and love began to fill my inbox. Many of you I didn’t know, but you knew me. You knew what was in my heart and my head and you lifted me up with what I needed to hear.
You, dear readers, somehow knew.
So, if you reached out to me, I listened and found comfort. If you shared with me your own story, if you dropped off food, sent me a sweet card or an encouraging email, please know I read them all.
Then, I read them again.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.