(Little Rock, AR)
The Trip of a Lifetime - Necker Island, July 2008
On April 24, 2010, my life was changed forever. My 40 year old husband died from a massive heart attack. One minute he was there....the next gone. We were married just 3 weeks shy of 19 years. We met when he was just 18. We were together 22 years. We had the most amazing marriage. I truly loved him more the day he died than the day I married him.
Our marriage was never perfect, but we both said we would not change a thing. God blessed us with 2 beautiful children after 4 1/2 years of battling infertility. I thought then that was the hardest thing I'd ever been through. Boy, was that thought shattered that Saturday in April. We had plans for the future. We loved loving each other, we loved loving on our children. We looked forward to seeing what God had in store for us as we grew old together. We wanted to see our son play professional baseball some day, we wanted to see our daughter singing on stage some day. We were so happy, so full of life. Until that day.
It was a nice day outside, he and my son went to a friend's to play basketball. He came home alone complaining of chest pains. Thank goodness he left our son there. By the time he decided it was serious enough for me to take him to the Emergency Room, it was too late. Just minutes after I passed from the kitchen to the laundry room, I heard him collapse. My 8 year old daughter was in hysterics (as was I) as I tried desperately to roll him onto his back. She couldn't find a phone, I couldn't roll him over. I weigh 115 pounds and he was around 175. He was up against the sofa and I just couldn't do it. I finally found a phone and called 911. I had a friend on his way to come pick up my daughter before the collapse. When he arrived, he rolled my husband over and began CPR. I could see him turning blue. I knew I was losing him.
When the paramedics arrived, my friend whisked my daughter away and I was left on my knees praying for my husband in the corner of the room. I knew it wasn't good. They shocked him twice in front of me. By the time my friend's wife came to take me to the hospital, the ambulance had not left yet. I knew when the paramedic came over and told my friend to go ahead to the hospital that he was gone. I said it over and over in my head, but never aloud.
We spent what seemed like hours in the ER....it was less than 30 minutes. The nurse came and told us it wasn't looking good. The doctor came a little later and said it wasn't looking good. Just a few minutes later, he returned with those words you never imagine yourself hearing "I'm sorry, we did all we could....." NO! No, no, no. This is not happening. This is a bad dream! No!
Yesterday was 12 weeks since I cried those words. It gets harder and harder each day. God granted me numbness the first few weeks, but it has ever so slightly been easing away. The shock is wearing off in bigger chunks now. I cry more now. I miss him more and more each day. People ask me how I'm doing....I know they mean well. I say "ok" when I'm really not. Really, inside my heart is broken. I am empty, hollow, incomplete. Part of me died with him.
Having young children has forced me to continue with life. My faith is very strong, and I know this was part of God's plan. I don't like it. In fact, I hate it. But, I have no say in the course of my life. I prayed in recent months before how grateful I was to have my husband and my children. That how nothing was as important as them. We could lose all of our possessions, but we would survive.
I don't know how I will survive without him. Well, I do....with God. But it doesn't make it any easier. It doesn't make the pain lessen. It doesn't bring my best friend back. I have chosen to continue to raise our children how we had planned. I hope to see my son play professional baseball one day, and I hope to see my daughter singing on stage one day. Just without him....it will be bittersweet.