*Today is the third anniversary of my husband’s death.
It started off normal enough, however, I did not foresee the tragedy that was heading my way…
I decided to turn in early because I had planned to surprise my husband by going to look for a new car with him the following morning. He was barely speaking to me because I disagreed that he needed one.
I was asleep by the time he got off of work, but he made sure to come to our bedroom and ask if Jazmine was awake. He was especially fond of my niece and spent most of his hours at home with her undertow. I replied she was not and dozed back off.
Less than an hour later, he came back in the bedroom and turned on the light. In obvious distress, he told me he did not feel well. Still drowsy, I halfheartedly asked what was wrong. He responded that he was having chest pains. About a year earlier, he asked me to stop making spicy foods because his “heartburn” was getting worse. Therefore I attributed his discomfort to that and asked him if he tried taking an antacid. He said he had but he would try taking some more. When I heard him fumbling around in the medicine cabinet, I grew alarmed.
He came back into the bedroom and I noticed he was sweating profusely and breathing heavily. I asked him if he was having pain in his left arm as well. He said he was and I thought came to me that he might be having a heart attack. However, it still didn’t register as being a real possibility considering he was only 30 years old.
I decided to call for an ambulance and while I was on the phone with the operator, he was stretching. She instructed me to have him to sit down but he said he could not because he was so uncomfortable. I got off the phone and proceeded to help him to the livingroom to wait for the paramedics to arrive.
Midway there he stumbled and I caught him as best I could. We finally made it to the sofa and not a second later, he jumped up abruptly and started stumbling about. He was headed toward the door because he could not breathe and wanted to go outside for air. He collapsed in the doorway as the ambulance pulled up front.
Ethan heard the noise as well as my panicked voice and came into the livingroom. I told him to go lay back down because I did not want him to see his father in such a condition. He did.
The paramedics were able to get him conscious by sticking something down his throat that made him vomit. This was followed by a series of questions that he was able to answer although his speech was slurred and weak.
During this time they tried to keep me out of the livingroom, but I refused. I was informed by the head paramedic that my husband was “very, very, very, very, very, very, very sick” and that something was definitely going on in the heart region and they needed to take him in right away. In Indiana, those who are not be transported are not allowed to ride in the ambulance, so I told the paramedic that I would be right behind them.
His last words to me were “make sure you come” as he squeezed my hand. I replied “of course!”
Nic was spending the night with a friend and Evan was still in residential treatment. I am ashamed to say that I left Jazmin and Ethan alone at home as I quickly threw something on over my pajamas and sped to the hospital.
I was not allowed in the room, but I walked past several times and say a hoard of medical professionals working on him. I sat in the waiting room for a few hours placing calls to friends and family. Two nurses came and introduced themselves and checked on me periodically.
After a while, the doctor, flanked by a nurse came out to talk to me. He introduced himself and asked me what happened. I started giving him a recap and as I was talking, there was something about the way that he was listening so intently that made me stop and ask him “Is my husband still alive?” When he replied no, I immediately started screaming and fell to the floor. I never expected to hear that. My mother had died exactly nine months prior for goodness sakes!
The two angels disguised as nurses came to my side praying and holding me. Shortly people started to arrive, his two close childhood friends, a cousin, my bil and his wife, my aunts (all three with spouses), my sister, and cousins. My mil and other sil were in Detroit but I had already called them with the news.
We tried to get a hold of his sister that lived in town to no avail( I was later blamed by her that she did not get to make it to his bedside). I even held his body for hours in hopes that she would make it to the hospital. I finally got back home around 6am and passed out from sheer exhaustion, disbelief, and distress.
And it was only the beginning of a tumultuous journey and I would need all my energy and sense of equilibrium to help me get through the terror of it all…